Ray Larson: Candidate Profile
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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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Grayslake parks
Family: Married to my wife, Karen. We have three sons: Ray (10), Jack (8), Andrew (6)
Occupation: Lieutenant/Paramedic - Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic (paid on call) - Grayslake Fire Department
Education: Bachelor of Science in Fire Service Management, Southern Illinois University, 2010
National Fire Academy, Emittsburg, Maryland, 2007
Civic involvement: Grayslake Youth Baseball Association Coach
Grayslake Park District Basketball Coach
IFSA ""Camp I am Me"" Burn Camp Volunteer
St. Baldrick's Volunteer (children's cancer research)
Elected offices held: Secretary, Deerfield-Bannockburn Professional Firefighters Assoc., 2002-2004
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
To provide for the safe and efficient operation of all parks and recreation programs administered by the Grayslake Park Dist.
Key Issue 2
With fiscal responsibility, maintain effective programs, enhance the districts current parks, and develop a strategic plan for the next ten years based on the population and needs for residents of the district.
Key Issue 3
Maintain and create partnerships with local government entities, service clubs and other potential affiliates.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
The park district is not an agency designed to turn a profit, though they should be fiscally responsible. Some programs generate revenue at higher rates than others. Programs that do not generate or cannot pay for themselves, but are popular and beneficial, should not be eliminated. The overall idea is that comprehensive program curriculum should be fiscally balanced. Programs that are not popular and lose money should be reformed.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
The current open space survey that was completed should be reviewed to determine long range planning for the park district based on its programs, current and potential affiliates, the potential need for space, and population trends. If the park district continues to shows a need, then a responsible effort to acquire open space should be made.
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?
After speaking with park district recreation staff members, gym space is adequate but the need for additional would open new horizons for additional programs and offerings to residents. Until equalized assessed valuations become more stable, large capital purchase acqusitions may have to be placed on hold. Until then, working and developing agreements with other local groups such as private schools and churches with gym space may help with the need for additional space.
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?
Inter-government agreements are an invaluable resource that includes but is not limited to fiscal savings. The park district, village, fire department, library and school district are long-standing and independent entities. Working together to develop encompassing contracts or agreements for safety programs, educational classes, printing, snow removal, refuse collection, and landscaping services are a few ways to let one hand wash the other. Each entity brings something to the table, and all can benefit by it.
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.
As a candidate seeking election, I am not looking to replace any individual who was ""not getting the job done"". As a community liaison in my career with the fire department, I have formed relationships with many government agencies, including a strong one with the local park district. I look to bring that to the office I am running for. I intend to serve the Grayslake Park District responsibly and with enthusiasm so that it can effectively serve every family within its boundaries.
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