Robert Pollard would like to be known as a man of the people.
That’s why the Wood River resident’s slogan as he runs for a spot in the Madison County Board District 12 race this November is, “An independent voice for the working family.”
Pollard, serving his second term on the Wood River Township Board, will be running as an independent against Democratic incumbent Steven Kochan.
“I have a history of doing what’s right for the taxpayer and making good fiscal decisions, even if it irritated supporters ... if it was right for the taxpayer,” Pollard said. “What I want to do is bring some fiscal responsibility to the County Board. I sit on five different boards at the township; I’ve got a background in finance, business and management, which I think qualifies me to be an independent thinker there, with fresh ideas and looking out for the taxpayer’s dime.
“You can’t make everybody happy. You have to be able to make the tough decision whether or not it upsets someone you know. Right is right and wrong is wrong and that’s what I’m hanging my hat on.”
Pollard points to the recent issue with leftover taxes from Wood River Township Hospital as an example of his fiscal responsibility.
“Over $8 million dollars was left over in taxes from the Wood River Township Hospital, which was closed,” he said. “That surplus of over $8.5 million we got dispensed back to the taxpayers in the form of a check, which I think is unprecedented in a municipality. It was a significant amount of money to some people. I’m pretty proud of that.”
Pollard said he “wants to work for both sides” and that’s why he’s running as an independent.
“I want to work for all of the people, not just one side or the other,” he said. “I just think the time is right for an independent voice.
“I’m passionate about the politics. I want to do what’s right and I want to make things happen; that’s my whole thing. I have a record of doing what’s right and I’m pretty proud of that. It may not have always been easy, but it’s the right vote.”
When Pollard isn’t dabbling in municipal politics he can be found spending time with his family and the community he loves. He works as a high school football official and is ordained as a minister (he says he has married friends). He also has worked for the Hillman Group for 17 years as a field sales manager, overseeing 14 sales representatives in seven states and is responsible for a $14 million budget.
He has been happily married to his wife, Kristi, for two years and has a son Jason, 27, and a daughter Kathleen, 25, from a previous marriage as well as one grandson, Jackson, 5.