William Ploger: Candidate Profile
Arlington Heights Park Board (4-year Terms)
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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: Arlington Heights
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Arlington Heights Park Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two daughters - 12 and 9
Occupation: Software Engineer
Education: BS in Economics with a minor in Political Science, Northern Illinois University, 1994
Civic involvement: Volunteer Soccer Coach since 2005 and Volunteer Softball Coach since 2009
Elected offices held: None.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
The Park Board needs to strengthen its relationship with the people of Arlington Heights. From the ongoing perception that neighborhoods are being pitted against one another for the increasing limited resources available for improvements, there needs to be a coming together of ideas. I would like to see more local community center meetings where board members get to hear from citizens outside of the formal park district board meetings. By having constructive conversations, we can find a path forward that can be equitable and serve the needs of our community.
Key Issue 2
I will be advocating for increased measurements of usage and demographics of the current programs and facilities. By having a better understanding of how the parks are being used, we can better adapt to changing audiences and interests.
Key Issue 3
Even if no further renovations are done, the park district will be facing an increase of essential maintenance costs which will take away from its operation budget as a whole. The viewpoint of leaving the buildings as they currently are is not realistic or possible. The longer that needed improvements and upgrades are delayed, the more it will cost the park district and its residents. The Park District, as a whole, will need to explore all viable options to acquire this needed increase of revenue.
Do you believe the park renovations that would have been done with referendum money are needed? All of them, or just some of them?
Yes, I believe that all of the renovations would have benefited the citizens of the Park District at a time when the costs of those renovations would have been low.
Do you support another referendum to raise the necessary funds? If not, how should the park district find the money to do the work?
I do support another referendum at some point. There may be ways to reduce the costs of that referendum by revisiting how the individual community center improvements fit into the priorities of the park master plan. The Park District should be aggressive in seeking out grants as well. Finally, a thorough review of fee schedules should also occur.
Without a referendum not all parks will be able to be funded at once, how will you prioritize what should be done first?
The great thing is that Camelot will now be renovated so we can turn our attention toward Heritage, Frontier, and Recreation. I would like to review the usage numbers and the type of usage we are seeing at those three centers. There is also an opportunity to build more turf fields for football and soccer for long term savings on grass maintenance. There is some demand for lacrosse as well, so the playing fields need to be considered in any future investment.
How should the district approach its holiday lights display? Should the display go away entirely? Conversely, should the board let anyone in? Discuss your opinion of the controversy in North School Park and how you think the board should go forward.
I think the board handled the issue correctly. As long as everyone's constitutional rights are being upheld and the proper forms are filled in correctly, I am fine with it. I would hope that the light show does not turn into a political soapbox and instead remains something fun for all to enjoy during that time of the year. I know I enjoy it!
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
Recreational needs are always changing. As a commissioner it will be my job to listen to the citizens needs and wants in these regards. As such, we need to create facilities that are flexible in nature so they can be adapted to changing interests and demographics. Many of our programs are paid by fees and grants, and as such, a cost analysis of whatever new programs we introduce will need to be done.
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