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updated: 2/22/2013 6:27 PM

Terry Ruff: Candidate Profile

Palatine Park Board (6-year Terms) (Republican)

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  • Terry Ruff, running for Palatine Park Board (6-year Terms)

    Terry Ruff, running for Palatine Park Board (6-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



City: Palatine

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Palatine Park Board (6-year Terms)

Age: 56

Family: My wife Joanne and I have been married 32 years and have one child and our first grandchild. We?ve happily called Palatine home for the past 21 years.

Occupation: I have been employed with Kensington Financial Services in Arlington Heights for the past 26 years. I currently hold the position of Senior Vice President.

Education: Harper College

Civic involvement: For 13 years, I volunteered as a member of the Wheeling Lions Club, serving at all levels including President. During that time, I was also sponsor for the Wheeling Leo Club, a youth service program sponsored by the Lions Club, serving students from Wheeling High School. This program was entirely self-funded, with the students raising all of the funds required to provide assistance to those in need within the community. Assistance included providing eye exams, glasses, food, clothing, wheelchairs, scooters and participation in the Senior Paint-A-Thon, a program that paints homes for area senior citizens.. In addition to serving with the Lions Clubs locally, I also served as District Leo Club chairman, promoting service clubs at the high school level throughout the North and Northwest Suburbs. More recently, I have volunteered with the Palatine Celtic Soccer Club for the past 12 years, the last 3 years as President. During that time, we provided funding for lights and storage at Hamilton Park and most recently, funded the installation of two artificial turf fields at Celtic Park. The club is paying $1.5 million dollars for this ambitious project, improving a Park District facility with minimal taxpayer dollars. This project also reduced repair costs on the remaining grass fields, saving additional tax dollars. I believe hard work and great volunteers are one of the answers to improving public facilities without additional taxpayer expense. I have twice been recognized as a Palatine Park District Volunteer of the Year in 2010 and 2012.

Elected offices held: None

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I think holding taxes in check should be the number one priority of any elected board. There are many government taxing bodies that make up our tax bills and it's important that they each realize that theirsmall? increase gets added to everyone else'ssmall? increase and soon it all becomes a large increase for the families paying the bill.

Key Issue 2

The Community Center is a valuable asset to the Village and its viability has been an ongoing topic of conversation. The building is getting older and repairs will be needed. The Village is currently studying the cost of the needed updates to their portion of the building. Once the Village has made a decision on how to proceed, the Park District will then need to form their own plan for the future of their portion of the facility.

Key Issue 3

I would also like to see a long term plan for all of the park district programs. Representatives from each program would meet and discuss their long term ideas to formulate a vision for the future. The plan would encompass the space and funding needs for current programs as well as what new activities will be needed in the future.

Questions & Answers

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

The stables and our swimming pools are two areas that are not currently profitable. Swimming pools are only used for a short period of time each year, and generally do not turn a profit. We all want a pool nearby, especially for our kids, but it does need to be subsidized. The stable has been hit hard by the downturn in the economy. I think we need to explore some new revenue streams outside of taxpayer dollars to help subsidize underperforming facilities. Corporate sponsorships and advertising are being used by other park districts to help offset rising costs, and this type of public-private partnership is just one avenue I believe we should at least explore. We need creative solutions to continue to offer best-in-class services to our residents without placing an undue tax burden on them.

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

The Park District currently has open space that has not yet been developed. One big issue is finding the funding to make the needed improvements. Palatine has a number of older facilities and keeping them in good repair while trying to develop new space takes time. Again, a corporate sponsor or grant may help drive some of this development without using taxpayers? dollars.

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?

The item I hear about most often is an indoor pool. I think an indoor pool would be a great asset to our community but this is not a viable project in the current economic climate.

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 also believe we can explore intelligent tax revenue use through efficiencies. The Park District already shares facilities with the Village and Public Works departments. This has provided great savings to all three bodies. I think the greatest further opportunities in this area are with the school districts. These are all taxpayer-funded government agencies. Taxpayers should receive the benefits of all the facilities and resources provided by their tax dollars and know that the organizations funded by them are exploring every opportunity to make the most of the money entrusted to them.

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.

For the last 3 years with Celtic Soccer my goal was to complete the artificial turf project at Celtic Park and leave the Club in a better place than when I started. It is time to step aside and allow new Celtic volunteers to make their mark. During my time with Celtic, I have worked with many volunteers and Park District employees, gaining a vast knowledge of the Park District and many of its programs outside of soccer. I think this knowledge gives me a great foundation to further serve our community, and I look forward to the opportunity to do so.