Maryfrances Leno: 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: Moved to Arlington Heights when 1 years old. Lived here ever since. Single, 5 Children (ages 7years-17years)
Occupation: Executive Director of the Itasca Park District
Education: Elementary School: St. James, Arl Hts High School: Prospect High School, 1988 William Rainey Harper College - AA Degree, 1990 Univ. of WI-Parkside - BA, Major in Political Science, Minor in Communications, Concentration in Public Administration
Civic involvement: St. James School Athletic Board, 2009-Current John Hersey High School Athletic Board, 2011-Current Illinois Association of Park District Member, 2001-Present Illinois Parks & Recreation Association Member, 1994-Present National Park & Recreation Association Member, 1994-Present SALUTE, Past Board Member & Volunteer
Elected offices held: Arlington Heights Park District Commissioner, 2001-2013 President of the AHPD Board, May 2005-Current Vice-President of the AHPD Board, May 2002- April 2005
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Keep the District fiscally responsible and sound, while at the same time providing affordable and excellent quality recreational opportunities and facilities for our residents.
Key Issue 2
Protect and maintain open green space for AHPD.
Key Issue 3
How to maintain and fund our aging infrastructure of the AHPD.
Do you believe the park renovations that would have been done with referendum money are needed? All of them, or just some of them?
I believe all the proposed park renovations which would have been funded through the referendum are needed.
Do you support another referendum to raise the necessary funds? If not, how should the park district find the money to do the work?
The AHPD does not have the capacity to fund the amount of large scale capital projects from fund balance dollars which are currently needed. Typically, park district fund these through referendums. I would support a combination of another future referendum, grants and fund balance dollars to raise the necessary funds.
Without a referendum not all parks will be able to be funded at once, how will you prioritize what should be done first?
Recently, the AHPD board approved to move forward with the Camelot Park Project. This was chosen first, due to a $2.5M PARC Grant which was awarded to the District for that specific project and site. Moving forward from there, prioritization will have to be a balance between the cost of each project, dollars available, future secured grants, need and location.
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.
The AHPD Holiday Light Display has been a tradition for 21 years. Each display is owned by, built by and operated by the AHPD, with children's toys being the theme. It would be a shame to not continue the tradition. Also, the AHPD followed its own policies and the law, in determining, and giving approval for people requesting to display their own beliefs within the park. Entities, other than the AHPD, deemed it "controversial" and made a mountain out of a mole hill. If anything, the AHPD, needs to review its policies and procedures and determine if the policy needs to be revised for future requests.
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
The AHPD has always done a great job at offering a variety of recreational needs, and if we are unable to provide them, the AHPD has made cooperative arrangements with other Park Districts, School Districts, Private Organizations and others to be able to fulfill that need. ON the other side, the District is facing the inability to offer programs, open gym time, removal of people off wait lists and more due to our lack of gym space and deteriorating/aging community centers. The centers are not getting any younger, and the District needs to continue looking for ways to replace and improve them for future generations.
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