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updated: 2/23/2011 4:06 PM

Ken Ryan: Candidate Profile

Grayslake parks

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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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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Grayslake

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Grayslake parks

Age: 59

Family: married- three children all were involved with park district in-house, travel and affiliate programs: Colts, Galaxy Soccer, Travel Softball, in-house basketball

Occupation: Vice President- Member Advocacy, Illinois State Medical Society-- Professional Association Management

Education: Bachelor of Arts, St.Ambrose University

Civic involvement:

Board Member- Lake County Fastpitch Softball Associaton

First Match Secretary -Grayslake Galaxy Soccer

Coach GLPD inter-park girls travel softball- 1999-2000

Active parishoner and usher St.Gilbert Church

Elected offices held: Commissioner - Grayslake Community Park District Board of Commissioners

President- Grayslake Community Park District Board of Commissioners since 2005

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I support preserving open space for public preservation and recreational use and want to continue my advocacy to ensure Grayslake has adequate resources to continue to meet the community's growing needs for recreation and outdoor activity.

Key Issue 2

I want to continue to work with the community and park district affiliate groups to ensure that the district continues to offer a broad range of programs and activities for residents of all ages groups without duplication or excessive cost to the residents.

Key Issue 3

The park district has been awarded numerous sfatey wards from its professional liability carrier. I want to continue to earn the public trust by ensuring we retain necessary staffing and maintainence levels to be able to offer the highest quality service and public safety the District has come to be known to provide.

Questions & Answers

What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?

The district reviews its programs regularly. The majority of our programs continue to cover their direct expenses and still grow. The future challenge is to promote awareness and greater use of some our overlooked programs, like the golf course on Drury Lane. We'd already have great participation in our junior and senior leagues but we need to develop new events or outings for a wider range of interests.

Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.

I think the district should be open to pursuing appropriate open space opportunities so it can continue to meet community needs, as long as such an oportunity is fiscally prudent and the land parcel desirable. I also think the district should carefully consider all funding options like grants, land donations, partnerships, sponsorships, use of capital funds before seeking tax dollars.

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?

Any unmet recreational needs reflect the community gorwth and the need to pursue more programmable space. The demands of our growing youth sports programs,including newer sports like lacrosse require active field space. The community has need for more passive recreation activities like fishing, walking and bike trails.

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 am pleased to say the District currently shares resources with the local school districts and is involved with the village in a number of collaborative projects such as weed control for Grays Lake. The District works closely with its youth sports affiliates to provide services and maintain fields. Durng my tenure, the District has always been open to opportunities to work wih other governmental bodies and civic organizations to provide safe quality programs for the residents of the District.

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 an incumbant and as an officer of the Board I was instrumental in expansion of the district and the growth of its programming. Specific areas to highlight are: 1) the purchase of the GLPD Aministrative Offices and Rec Center on Commerce Drive. We can now offer a wider range of programs/in-house dance and art activities, adult fitness, and provide comunity meeting space; 2) the acquisition of 91 acres of open space, now Allegheny Park. Oversaw development of grants that resulted in nearly 1.5 million dollars of funding from the Department of Natural Resources as well as 55 acres in land donation;3) improved Central Park by adding fishing pond, personal reflecton opportunities, restored the pond to its natural beauty, added a splash pad, disc golf, and concession and restroom facilities; 4) doubled the program offerings from 800 to over 1600 activities to meet growing various community interests; 5) Jones Island with donation from Lions Club installed a fishing pier on the Lake addes new picnic pavillion and playground; 6) purchased a small bus to transport daycampers and seniors.