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: Wheeling Park Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two children in college
Occupation: Director of Operations, Township High School District 214
Education: BS - Health Education/Athletic Training - Eastern Il. - 1980 MS - Physical Education - NIU - 1984 CAS - Educational Administration - National Lewis - 1990
Civic involvement: I have been on the park board since first being appointed about 7 years ago. I have been active in my church, Kingswood United Methodist, since the early 1980's, serving on various committees, etc.
Elected offices held: I have been elected to the park board on two previous occasions.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Our number one goal is to provide excellent service to all of our community members - all ages, all ethnicities - within our budget. We have done that. If we continue to hold the line on expenses we can continue to provide excellent service to our community.
Key Issue 2
We are in the beginning stages of the largest park improvement project in the history of our district. The Heritage Park renovation, while improving flood control for our area, will be a recreational amenity that will draw people from across our entire region. The water park, fitness center, turf athletic fields and music venue will compliment the walking paths, lake improvements and open space to provide a top-notch regional recreational facility that our village can be proud to call their own.
Key Issue 3
Intergovernmental cooperation between the Park District, School Districts, the Village and others will provide the best use of our tax dollars in the future. Our district has cooperated with the school districts to share land and build athletic fields. We have worked with the village and MWRD to fund the Heritage Park renovation. We need to work with the schools and village to provide trails and other access through our village for walkers and bike riders. I would also like to explore some shared use opportunities for the old Wicke's site since it sits between the Metra station on one side and Heritage Park on the other.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
Our budget is very sound. It is that way because we regularly survey the public to see what they want in recreational activities. Our administration does an excellent job of holding the line on expenses at all levels so that we are able to keep our budget in the black despite rising costs. Fundamentally, many programs do not generate a profit (like some youth sports programs). Other programs (like the fitness center) are actually run as revenue-generating centers that help offset some of the losses that are expected in other programs. It is important to note that our staff is flexible in its approach and constantly evaluates programs in a way that keeps those that are popular and retools those that are not.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
One of our ongoing missions is to acquire open space if it becomes available in the village, if the price is right and if it might serve our purposes as a park district. Two recent purchases include the large lake and open space along Lake Cook road. This land will be developed in the future. The other was the purchase of a house on Norman lane. While the size of the purchase was much smaller that the Lake Cook property, it backed up to one of our parks. When the property was redeveloped it provided an excellent entrance to our park from the east.
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?
We continue to use data collected in our recent district-wide survey and needs assessment. This has been very helpful in determining what unmet needs we have in the community. Our staff is very good at costing out the potential impact of programs on our budget. If we can afford programs, they are figured into the budget the next year. We have also been very interested in working with other governmental agencies to stretch our programming dollars.
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 stated this above. We have partnerships with District 214, District 21, the Village of Wheeling, MWRD, Prospect Heights Park District, etc. We share a risk manager with the Buffalo Grove Park District. We work with the Village to provide some senior services. We pride ourselves in understanding that this is the way to do business in today's world.
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.
I consider myself part of a well-functioning board. We have acted together to support the vision of the district within a financial framework that allows us to keep a balanced budget. I believe my greatest accomplishment has been to be an active player in the process to keep our board healthy, keep us listening to our divergent views and assist us to make decisions that put the interest of the district and the people we serve above personal gain or recognition.