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updated: 2/23/2011 4:01 PM

Thomas F. Arends: Candidate Profile

Carol Stream library

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  • Thomas F. Arends, running for Carol Stream library

    Thomas F. Arends, running for Carol Stream library




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: Carol Stream

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Carol Stream library

Age: 52

Family: Not Married. Mother and sister's family reside in Carol Stream.

Occupation: Attorney and business consultant engaged in the general practice of law with an emphasis on tax and business planning.

Education: Juris Doctor, DePaul University, 1983

Bachelor in Accounting, University of Notre Dame,1980 (With Honors)

Graduate of Gordon Tech High School, Chicago (Valedictorian)

Civic involvement: Carol Stream Library Board Trustee 2007 to the Present

Carol Stream 4th of July Parade Volunteer

Knights of Columbus, Corpus Christi Parish

Illinois State Bar Associattion federal and state tax committees

Elected offices held: Carol Stream Library Board Trustee 2007 to Present

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Maintaining the status of the Carol Stream Public Library as the primary information resource for the citizens of the Village of Carol Stream, and at the same time, ensuring that the Board's primary focus with respect to the citizens is that we exercise our stewardship role from both library service and financial perspectives.

Key Issue 2

Ensuring that the Library operates in a fiscally responsible manner and addresses service needs in the context of minimizing its tax levy. This must include a commitment to evaluating multiple budgeting scenarios on a line-by-line basis and proactive completion of library grant applications.

Key Issue 3

To address long-range planning scenarios as to library services and physical operations pertaining to the facility on Hiawatha. Long-range planning must also include a proactive and constructive dialogue between the Board and the citizens as to appropriate uses of our Kuhn Road property.

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?

Over the past four years I have addressed service and facility issues in a fiscally conservative manner as to budgeting and taxes. I have a particular concern that we continue to maintain such an approach to budgeting and tax minimization as we address future needs for the Library.

From a long-range planning perspective, this must include a commitment to the physical facility at the Hiawatha location, as well as, addressing all appropriate revenue raising options with respect to land now owned by the Library on Kuhn Road. Such options, open for public and Board discussion, should include evaluating sale alternatives, exploring other intergovernmental uses, or considering economically feasible lease options consistent with zoning rules and maintaining neighborhood property values.

If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of important initiatives you've led. If you are a non-incumbent, tell us what contributions you would make.

For the first two years on the Board, I served as a member of the Finance Committee and during that time worked on and approved budgets that resulted in minimal tax levies including actual tax reduction.

In the last two years on the Board I served on the Facilities Commitee and addressed along with the Board as a whole a successful renovation plan that expanded the utilizable space of the Library and significantly improved services without raising taxes.

With respect to the fiscal year budget for which we are currently operating under, I called for in my vote on that year's budget and levy, a more comprehensive approach to line-by-line budgeting and needs analysis in addressing our budgets and tax levies.

Although I could not vote in favor of that budget as adopted by the Board majority and the resulting resolution calling for an increase in the levy funds over the prior year, I hope to continue to use my financial expertise in addressing budgeting with the Board. This process has been ongoing, and I am proactively involved with the Finance Committee and providing my input for a budget and levy to be voted on in the spring of 2011.

I attend all Committee Meetings (Finance, Human Resources, Facilities)and strive to work toward a consensus on relevant issues.

I have served over the past year as Chairman of the By-Laws Committee and have been proactive in addressing changes in both by-laws and library policies and procedures to the full Board.

I have always demonstrated support for the Board in implementing its actions and confidence in the Library management staff with respect to collection matters and patron service. Our major challenges over the next several years will be financial.

Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?

Yes. I use library services on a weekly basis.

Space is usually an issue at libraries. If that's the case at your library, would your solution be to expand the physical plant or make room by doing away with parts of the collection that technology has made less critical? Explain.

The Library on Hiawatha has recently completed a renovation that has significantly increased the utilizable space for patrons.

Although it is conceivable that the facility may have space limitations in the distant future, I do not feel there is any evidence at this time that our community is calling for any additional facility expansion at the Hiawatha location, and any such action would require additional engineering studies and other governmental agency approval. I believe that the current facility is adequate for the long-range needs of the citizens for the next decade if not longer.

As always additional technologies in the library science area will allow us to fund collection services that may be more efficient from a space standpoint. Our staff action and Board policies must always reflect a proactive policy in reviewing books and other periodicals that are not being used and ensuring that such items are still available through the inter-library loan programs or made available for Friends of the Library book sales.

What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?

Technological changes in library science will always occur and the Library mangement staff must continue to bring to the Board's attention advances in technology that have the potential to improve services in that area.

The Library must always remain relevant as the need for library services will always be there. It is our job as a Board in conjuction with the Library manangment staff to be selective in our approach to ensuring that the Library remains the primary infomation source for our citizens.

All Board members must be aware that in these difficult economic times our stewardship role requires us to make difficult choices in balancing our desired plans or long-range goals with our practical needs.

The Library is currently addressing long-range planning options including community focus groups where we can address directly with the citizens their concerns including collection, facility, and service needs.