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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.
City: Carol Stream
Office sought: Carol Stream Library Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, 2 daughters
Occupation: President of Seaco Data Systems, Inc. manufacturing and selling Portable, Mobile, GPS, and Basestation antennas for wireless internet, navigation tracking, and land/mobile communication.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Buffalo State University. Associates in Applied Science in Electrical Technology, Alfred State College.
Civic involvement: Girl Scouts Middle School Carol Stream 4th of July parade volunteer.
Elected offices held: Village of Carol Stream Public Library Board of Trustees 2009-Present. Held Officer positions as Treasurer and Current President
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
The fiscal responsibility leadership that I have started needs to continue in place and not revert back to past leadership ways of Vice President Bailey wasting tax dollars by building up reserve savings funds to greater than 36 months in value. I have fought against wasteful spending and won. I have worked hard on the budget and challenged any line item that I thought was not in the best interest of the community. I changed the Bylaws to stop a long time tradition of previous Boards not abiding by Illinois State Law and neglecting their oversight and fiscal responsibility duties. I created a consensus on the Board to stop tax increases. The Board has held taxes to 0% over the last 3 years because in these hard economic times our community is struggling with record level unemployment, but at the same time we have built Library circulation levels to over 500,000 for the first time ever. Many great opportunities for the Library will continue to be available in the future if our fiscally responsible slate of 5 candidates (3 with Library Trustee experience) is elected to office.
Key Issue 2
The Kuhn Road property needs to be sold instead of hanging on to the land as a roadmap to referendum #4 for a new Library. Selling the property provides revenue to stop the need for any tax increase and hold taxes at a 0% increase for several years to come. Money from the sale of the property would also allow the Library to offer patrons new programs, services, and technology. For instance funds could be used to developSmart Board? technology. Smart Boards offer an Interactive resource for providing children and adults with visual, auditory, social, and communication needs in Art, Music, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, History, and Language development. We could also fund new programs in cooperation with Disney, Sesame Street, Museum of Science and Industry, and Adler Planetarium among others. Vice President Bailey is the only Trustee that voted against placing the Kuhn Road property up for sale.
Key Issue 3
I believe all Trustees should follow the Library's Bylaws. Since the voters of Carol Stream gave Trustees the power to write ethics and truthfulness provisions into Library Bylaws, it follows that the voters should expect the Trustees who voted and approved those Bylaws would follow them. From the 10 people running for 5 Trustee positions, one side has the experience and leadership of Mike Wade and the opposing side does not. What differences are there between the two leaders? Leadership of President Wade: - Serves with integrity and follows the Library's Bylaws. - Placed Kuhn Road property up for sale, - Placed millions of dollars in an interest bearing account. Past Board leadership placed millions of taxpayer dollars in a zero percent, no interest bearing account. - President Wade reduced spending and kept taxes at 0% for the last 3 years. - Appointed 2 qualified Trustees with a 100% unanimous vote from all Board members. - Approved 59 state-of-the-art computers and faster network technology for the library. - My actions have been approved by the Library's attorney. In this election, there are 2 slates of 5 candidates running for the 5 open Trustee positions. Our slate of candidates is: Mike Wade-President, Susan Galle-Chairperson of Human Resources, Jerry Clark-Trustee, Joshua Jeffrey-2nd time candidate, Justin Moran- Concerned citizen and longtime resident. We have more experienced Trustees(3 compared to 1), are more Fiscally Responsible(no tax increases), and are ethically driven(follow rules, ethics, and follow legal advice from Library attorney).
Do you support the board's decision to put the library's Kuhn Road property on the market? Would you support a sale or lease of the property? Would you ever support construction of a new library in the village?
I fully support the Board's decision to place the Library's Kuhn Road property on the market. I would prefer the sale of the property over leasing so that the Board could afford to keep taxes low and focus on Library issues rather than landlord issues. Since I represent the taxpayers, the decision to ever support construction of a new Library would be at the will of the people I serve. I am in agreement with the taxpayers who voted me into office that members of previous boards did not listen to what the voters were communicating after one, two, and 3 failed new Library referendums. If conditions changed and produced a legitimate need for a new Library and a majority of taxpayers supported new construction, then as their Trustee, I would represent the majority's wishes and vote for new construction but only under these 2 conditions.
What specifically will you do to improve the working relationship among board members?
At the present time, I am very satisfied with the working relationship among the majority of Board members. As President of the Board, I am proud to work with every member of the Board. With the variety of issues taken up by the Board, I not only expect differences of opinion but encourage all Board members to participate in discussions. This results in the best ideas being cultivated to improve the performance of the Library. For those new members who would be elected to the Board for the first time, I would work with them and mentor them on the process in which the Board transacts its business. In the rare cases when a Board member did not follow the Library's Bylaws or Ethics provisions, I first would try to correct the matter one-on-one. If that effort failed, I would then decide if the matter was serious enough to bring before the full board. I would then ask the advice of all Board members on the issue. The issue would be resolved by taking a vote and implementing the solution arrived at by a majority vote of the Board members.
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?
As President of the Board, I am running for re-election to continue building on the great successes that I have attained during my leadership of the Board. I am honored to be entrusted by the taxpayers to carry out the oversight and fiscal responsibility needed to ensure a high level of service now and into the future. I have demonstrated fiscal responsibility by cutting unnecessary spending for 3 years and keeping taxes to a 0% increase for 3 years. It is my hope that I am re-elected to continue responsibly serving the taxpayers and bringing relevant services to the community. What motivates me most to run is that the leadership of past Boards with Vice President Bailey failed to stop taxing residents when some Library funds exceeded 39 months of reserve savings. Past Board leadership with Vice President Bailey also failed to listen to the voters when they wasted taxpayer funds running new Library referendums which were voted down. Past Board leadership also spent nearly a Million dollars of taxpayer money on the Kuhn Road property before ever asking residents if they thought a new library was needed. Vice President Bailey has never voted yes to place the Library's Kuhn Road property up for sale. Taxpayers have been paying taxes on the land for over 9 years until my Board leadership stopped talking about it and took 2 actions to eliminate the taxes to zero until the land is sold.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
I have a Carol Stream Library card and College of Dupage Library card. I have had the cards for approximately 5 years and 10 years respectively. I have used both cards as frequently as needed.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
In conversations with past Board leadership, economic conditions, levels of foreclosures, and high unemployment in our community had little effect on the decisions made by the Board. I believe that Boards should focus more on economic factors and rein in spending when our community is going through hard economic times. I would like to see policy developed that might use unemployment statistics or other factors to correlate a Board's spending policy, to the ability of the community to pay for that spending. It seems a poor practice and unsustainable to keep taxing the community higher and higher when more and more people are out of work and can not afford the tax increase. Technology is changing libraries and how they serve the community. We have expanded our e-reader program bringing onsite more technology e-readers for the community to use. We have also expanded the number of titles the community may download onto their own e-readers. I approved the purchase of 59 state-of-the-art computers and faster internet network technology to keep the library in pace with more demanding software and databases. I believe there will always be a resource of books and magazines but the introduction of technology and e-readers has made the portability of 100's of books so easy to fit in the palm of your hand. A library remains relevant by providing resources, programming, and technology that will benefit the community. I believesmart boards? are one way to bring highly relevant content to all patrons in a new interactive way. Asking businesses and residents what the Library can do for them and then developing a plan to implement those ideas is how I see Libraries staying relevant. We are planning to start the creation of a long-range plan soon and will ask Board members, Staff, and members of the community to serve on the committee. Libraries are an important business, cultural, educational, and personal resource to the community. To perform at a high level of service to all these different users, the library must be not only willing to change but encourage it so that the best programs and resources are made available to patrons. The role of the Library is to serve its community. As needs of the community change so will the library to meet the current and future needs for children and adults alike.