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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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Office sought: Palatine Park Board (6-year Terms)
Family: Married for 17 years with two children ages 14 and 12
Occupation: Golf Course Designer with Jacobson Golf Course Design, Inc.
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Landscape Architecture from West Virginia University
Civic involvement: Having a desire and passion to give back to my community as well as become involved in my children's activities, I have had the opportunity to volunteer through my neighborhood, the Village of Palatine, the Palatine Park District and the Park District affiliates. Below is a list of involvements I have been fortunate enough to be a part of: Served as a Board Member and President of the Pepper Tree Farms Home Owners Association for 5 years Coached PYB/S boys baseball for 7 years Coached PBA baseball for 1 year Coached PYB/S girls softball for 3 years Coached for Palatine Amateur Football Association (PAFA) for 6 years Served on the Board for Palatine Amateur Football Association (PAFA) for 6 years Managed the PAFA equipment purchasing, maintenance and distribution for 6 years Recognized asVolunteer of the Year? in 2011 for contributions to the PAFA organization Currently, I am also actively involved in: Coaching Junior Palatine Girls Feeder Basketball for 3 years now Actively serving on the Board for the Junior Palatine Girls Feeder Basketball Association Appointed to a four (4) year term as a member of the Palatine Planning Commission
Elected offices held: Appointed and currently serving a four year term to the Palatine Plan Commission, but not elected.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
The Park District should continue to provide and be associated with programs that provide innovative recreation, environmental consciousness and unique educational programs that the residents of Palatine feel are of value for the tax dollars being contributed. The programs and facilities should remain state of the art through continued upkeep and be fully accessible / affordable to the diverse residents within the Park District.
Key Issue 2
I have been blessed with having been associated with our Park District on many levels while my children were able to participate in a wide variety of Park District programs. Through these experiences, I feel like I have a good knowledge of the incredible job the Park District is currently doing. Today, our Park District stands above a vast majority of comparable communities within the Chicagoland area and I would like to help make sure that it continues to innovate, educate and provide opportunity to everyone in our community.
Key Issue 3
I also have the opportunity to work with many other Park Districts within the greater Chicagoland area due to my career, which as a golf course architect we help Park Districts efficiently manage one of their largest assets, their golf course. Because of this experience I feel like I can share a point of view that may be unique in that I deal with the problems that face a Park District on a daily basis and help instill cutting edge and innovative solutions to managing such facilities.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
The Park District offers a wide variety and unique brand of programs in which some generate positive revenue and some may not. We can certainly look at the percentage of people that utilize these programs versus the dollars being spent to come up with a formula that may yield a determination as to the viability of a certain program but it really should be looked at as a whole and see how the bottom line financials compare to the value that is being provided for the tax payers. We should make every effort we can though to ensure that we continue to provide a wide range of educational programs at an affordable rate for every member of our park district no matter what the financials may be for any particular program or facility.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
If funds are available or if financing is available that does not burden the tax payers during these challenging economic times, the Park District should strongly consider acquiring such land. The recent purchase of the Camelot property was a great decision to hopefully enable the expansion or development of programs / facilities that have shown a need for additional facilities. Any land that may become available has the potential to provide a great opportunity for the preservation of ever decreasing green space, something both the Village of Palatine and the Park District have considered to be very important. But again, I do not believe that a burden on the tax payers should be considered at this time to accomplish such a goal.
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?
Having been intimately involved with many Park District programs that offer regional or even state wide tournaments (for example: swimming, baseball, football or soccer), it can be challenging to provide enough quality space and facilities to host such events. On occasions there are challenges even without other park districts or cities coming into town. This can be viewed as an unmet recreational need across a fairly broad spectrum, but the positive side of it that it also shows the Palatine Park District is recognized as one of the premier Districts in the state and organizations enjoy coming here to participate. Many of the Park District residents that I have had an opportunity to speak with during the past several years of involvement have brought up the fact that they would like to see an indoor pool be offered as an amenity. I would like to think that there has been enough feedback provided to the current Park Board that an indoor pool would possibly one of the next large investments the Board would make. Costs to construct these types of facilities are one thing, but the maintenance and operation costs are what truly needs to be evaluated. It is difficult to have a pool that may be financially sustainable so the Park District will have to be prepared to justify the development of such a facility. Again, this is about the quality and value provided versus the tax dollars being spent. One facility that I would like to see developed is a Kid Safe City whereas we can bring safety information to children. This small scale city is developed on a small parcel of land where kids can learn about Stranger Danger, Home & Poison Safety, Dog Safety, Police & Gun Safety, Bullying, Escaping Fires, Bicycle safety, Train Crossing Safety and many other things. These types of facilities work in conjunction with our local fire, police and emergency responders. Safety and education of our Park District children should always be our number one priority.
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?
As far as programs go, there are several that the Park District shares with the District 15 school district, and the CARE program is a fine example. These type of programs are essential in providing a safe, secure and educational environment for our children that may not have a parent or guardian to go to immediately prior or following a school day. Currently there are many children enrolled in the CARE school programs that are further helping the mental and physical development of children. Fitness programs are also a very positive shared program in that they can be utilized to educate kids on physical activities and their health benefits. Developing habits like this will hopefully lead to a healthier life style that has the potential to be passed down to their children. As far as sharing resources such as vehicles or printing needs, wherever the possibility of being efficient in expenditures is possible, we should strongly consider it. The effects on the efficiency of actual utilization needs to be fully examined prior to this to avoid conflicts when both parties may require the shared item. In times of economic struggles such as the current economy, we all have to find ways to live our lives more efficiently, spend money more efficiently and more importantly be able to assist those in need. Pooling resources is one way that may open up a door that might not be there under current financial strain.
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 am a first time candidate and I have to say that the Village of Palatine is a great community and my family and I thoroughly enjoy living here. Throughout the past 16 years, we have participated in a great number of Park District programs such as the After School CARE Program, Summer Camps, Affiliated Sport Programs, education classes, and the Golf Course to name a few. Through these programs and events, we have met many great friends and have become aware of how important these programs are not only to my family but to our community. The Park District makes up a large portion of the personality of Palatine and I hope that I can work along side others that share the same passion and commitment I do to continue to make our community a safe, affordable and enjoyable place to live.