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updated: 2/22/2013 6:27 PM

Thomas Keating: Candidate Profile

Streamwood Park Board (4-year Terms)

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  • Thomas Keating, running for Streamwood Park Board (4-year Terms)

      Thomas Keating, running for Streamwood Park Board (4-year Terms)

 

 

 

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

 

Bio

City: Streamwood

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Streamwood Park Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 49

Family: Married for 26 years to Diane Keating. Three sons: Alex(18), Austin(16), and Riley(11). Resident of Streamwood for 26 years.

Occupation: CPA - Tax Accountant

Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, 1986

Civic involvement: Streamwood Park District Commissioner, Streamwood Chamber of Commerce, Summer Celebration Committee, Summer Celebration Volunteer, Hanover Countryside PTA, Hanover Countryside Volunteer, Pumpkinfest Volunteer, Streamwood Stride Volunteer, Luminaria Volunteer, Local and State Political Campaign Volunteer, Illinois Association of Park Districts, National Recreation and Parks Association, Streamwood Citizens Police Academy Alumni, Northwest Special Recreation Association, Leader and recently "retired" Cubmaster - Cub Scout Pack 49, Assistant Scout Master - Boy Scout Troop 10, Illinois CPA Society, National Society of Tax Professionals, Treasurer/Trustee of the Cancer Care Foundation

Elected offices held: Park District Commissioner, Village of Streamwood, 2001-2013

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

To provide direction and experience in fiscal matters focusing on maintaining a balanced budget and keeping taxes low.

Key Issue 2

To insure a variety of safe, enjoyable and affordable parks, facilities and, recreational opportunities to enhance the quality of life by promoting good health and well being for all the residents and visitors of the Streamwood Park District. Also, addressing the needs of the diverse population of the District with an emphasis on inclusion.

Key Issue 3

Encourage the active exploration of outside financial aid and funding sources such as state and federal grants and land/building/cash donations from citizens and businesses in lieu of raising taxes.

Questions & Answers

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

The Streamwood Park District offers a large variety of programs. It is important to note that not all programs are expected to pay for themselves. In fact, some programs (i.e. the Easter Egg Hunt, Safely Trick or Treating, St. Nicholas Night, etc.) are offered for free. The park district staff regularly evaluates all of our programs, community interests and needs.

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

Currently, Streamwood is essentially landlocked. Basically, this prevents the Park District from acquiring additional property without significant expenditures. Therefore, the park district continues to work on cooperative agreements with other units of local government to help fill any needs. Of course, the park district would gladly except donations of land to be able to provide additional open space.

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?

Again, the park district staff regularly evaluates all of our programs, community interests and needs. If and when it is determined that we face unmet recreational needs, the park district staff develops potential solutions and, in most instances, rectifies the situation. If there is a significant financial outlay potential, the staff will address the Board with their suggestions and we move forward. I am committed to addressing the needs of the diverse population of the District with an emphasis on inclusion.

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 support the sharing/pooling of resources 100%. However, your two examples "printing and vehicles" would probably be difficult. Anyway, cooperation has become a key ingredient to operating any governmental unit effectively and economically. Most recently, the Streamwood Park District entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Hoffman Estates Park District an the Elgin Parks and Recreation Department to provide our residents with a dog park. Over the last 12 years, we also entered into and currently have in place, various intergovernmental agreements with the Village of Streamwood, Hanover Township, U-46 School District, Hoffman Estates Park District, Hanover Park Park District, etc. I strongly encourage the park staff to continue to actively pursue cooperative arrangements to help provide the best possible facilities, infrastructure, and services at the best cost available.

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.

Since I was first elected, I have played leadership roles in many Streamwood Park District accomplishments and key initiatives including: -Reduction of Park District taxes by 9.6% since 2001. -Increase in Park District assets by over $3.5 million since 2009. -Increase in Park District fund balances by over $2.1 million since 2009. -Reduction of Park District debt by almost $2 million since 2009. -The final property acquisition, development, and opening of Sunny Hills Park (our first community sized park located West of Route 59). -Rekindling a productive and cooperative relationship with the Village of Streamwood. -Steering the Park Board and staff toward the creation of the recently implemented Strategic and Master Plans. This process represented the sort of non-partisan "big picture" planning that is really the core of the Board's responsibilities. -Put together the concept of "SPD CARES" which is currently the park districts Core Values.

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