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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
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Office sought: Lombard Park District, 6-year term
Family: I have been married to Jim Hogan for 26 years.
Occupation: I am a certified public accountant. My husband and I have our own accounting practice in Lombard and have been in business since 1986.
Education: Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, Northern Illinois University, 1980.
Civic involvement: Treasurer for the Lombard Town Centre, 2007 to present.
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at St Pius X Church, 2007 to present.
Illinois CPA Society, 1980 to present
Illinois Associatiion of Park Districts Distinguished Park and Recreation Accreditation Board, 2008 to present.
Also have served on the Illinois Association of Park Districts Foundation Board and Seminars Committee.
Elected offices held: Lombard Park District Commissioner, 1993 to present.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Having the Lombard Park District complete a comprehensive master plan. The previous plan expired in 2009 and it is necessary for the park district to complete a new plan in order to qualify for any additional grant money. Such a plan would also insure that future Park District undertakings are well thought out and in line with the desires of residents who would be involved in the process.
Key Issue 2
Promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles in Lombard. A recent study by the FORWARD Initiative found that 36% of the students in an area that included Lombard were obese or overweight. That rate was the highest found in Dupage County. In addition, adults and seniors need ways to stay active and healthy. Park districts can play a big role here as they can provide programs and facilities that ecourage an active lifestyle. While we do provide fitness programs and have a small area with exercise equipment at Sunset Knoll Recreation Center, we need to find more ways to accomodate and motivate our residents to become active at all ages.
Key Issue 3
Financial oversight is a very important role for the Park Board but not all share this viewpoint. About a year ago, board committees were disbanded, including the Finance Committee, and requests were made to provide less frequent and less detailed financial reports. I felt this was a mistake, especially in light of the strain on finances due to the economy and news of financial mismanagement on the part of other entities. I have been able to get the Lombard Park District's Finance Committee reinstated and I vow to continue to use my financial expertise to keep the Lombard Park District financially sound and to insure that we are using taxpayer's money in a wise and prudent manner.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
Western Acres Golf Course has been losing money for about 10 years. While there has been a downturn in the golf industry overall, I think that there are things that can be done to reduce or eliminate the losses we have experienced. An important measure would be to find ways to prevent the frequent flooding at the golf course. It has always been a problem but this past year was so bad that the course was shut down for the year in August due to the severity of the flooding. Besides the flooding, I have proposed that we look at other area courses that have banquet facilities or driving ranges and determine if adding a similar option at our course would make us profitable. Finally, we need to survey our current golfers and find out what would make them more inclined to golf more frequently at Western Acres. If each of our current golfers could be enticed to golf just one more time per year at our course, it would add greatly to the bottom line.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
Lombard is very land-locked but if property became available to acquire, it would certainly be worth looking at. However, I don't think every parcel at any price is worth purchasing. I would want to make sure we considered how each new parcel would be used before deciding to spend taxpayer money to acquire it.
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them? Or, should they wait until the economy improves?
As I stated above, fitness is very important but our current fitness facility consists of two classrooms worth of equipment at Sunset Knoll for a population of more than 42,000. Hours at the facility are insufficent as we close early on weeknights and are only open a half day on Saturdays and are not open at all Sundays. These are times I would expect most working people would be inclined to use a fitness facility. We need to find ways to expand our facilities and hours but that is dependent on our residents' willingness to support such endeavors financially. Another area that needs attention is Gymnastics. We do not have the facilities to provide these programs beyond the preschool years and our residents participating in Gymnastics have been bounced from a private facility near Lombard's southern border, to Addison and now to Downers Grove in order to have access to these programs. The prices they must pay are generally much higher than what we could offer them at if the Lombard Park District could host them. We need to find a way to keep these programs in town and affordable. Finally, we have plenty of programs for our youth but our offerings for adults and seniors are more limited. These groups are harder to attract and program for, but it is important that we offer many options to all our residents. While improvements may need to wait in all these categories until the economy improves, we should not wait to investigate options now and be ready with plans if residents are willing to support expansion in these areas.
Would you support sharing/pooling resources (i.e. printing, vehicles) with other local governments (school districts, village, etc.)? If so, what areas would you consider combining or merging to save money or improve efficiency?
I have always supported a pooling of resources with groups within and outside of Lombard. We have had many successful partnerships with our school districts and other park districts in particular. These have included shared gym space at the schools, bus trips with other park districts and the use of Downers Grove fitness facilities by our residents in exchange for their residents using our outdoor pool, at resident rates. I recently proposed that we consider joining an existing cooperative program for teens that includes Downers Grove and other area park districts or considering forming one of our own. This could help us offer more options in another area that can be difficult to program for.
If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for the park board? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.
Since I have been a Lombard Park District Commissioner for 18 years, I have been part of many accomplishments including the purchase of Peter Hoy School that became our Sunset Knoll Recreation Center, the building of the large gymnasium at Pleasant Lane School that we share with School District 44, the building of a new maintenance facility and the successful completion of our award-winning facility, Paradise Bay Water Park. I have served as President of the Board and have been Chair of the Finance Committee for most of my years as a Commissioner. I have also been fortunate to serve on the Illinois Association of Park District's Accreditation Board where I go to other top-notch park districts and review their operations. I have been able to bring back to the Lomabard Park District a lot of good ideas and best practices that I have observed while conducting these reviews.