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.
Office sought: Cary Park Board (6-year Terms)
Family: Married to Donna for 26 years, two dauthers-Lauren and Alexandra
Occupation: Civil Engineer,Principal at Eriksson Engineering Associates.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, 1986
Civic involvement: Current Cary Park District Commissioner -Saints Peter and Paul Church Appalachia Mission Trip -Saints Peter and Paul CRHP Team 11 -School District 155 Project Lead the Way -Cary Grove H.S. Career Day Speaker -Cary Grove Performing Arts Center -Catholic and Proud Teen Weekend -YMCA Indian Princess Program -Cary Basketball Association -Rotary Club-International Exchange Program-Host Family
Elected offices held: Commissioner-Cary Park District, May 1995-Current Past President of the Cary Park District Board
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.
Key Issue 1
Continue to develop relationships with units of local government Build upon current relationship with McHenry County Conservation District through pending grant application, which could connect Lions Park to the Hollows. Work with the Village of Cary to annex Cary Grove Park into the Village limits to provide local police protection, as well as continue development of athletic fields and facilities.
Key Issue 2
Continued development of Cary Grove Park Investigate public/private partnership opportunities - An agreement such as this could provide for a public and private entity to share in the financial responsibilities to develop the site. Look for grant opportunities to assist in financing site development.
Key Issue 3
Develop new Strategic Plan Following in the footsteps of our successful 2008-10 Strategic Plan, we would like to outline key goals, identify community needs and follow with fiscally responsible decisions based on those needs that will further improve community recreational opportunities. As a Commissioner, it is always our responsibility to set sound policy, make fiscally responsible decisions and listen to our residents.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
The Park District offers many programs and opportunities for our residents, including contracted programs through outside organizations, those paid by user fees and some as a free benefit. In the development of user-paid and contracted programs, methods are in place to ensure each offering is financially responsible on its own. Some of our most important offerings, however?some senior services and teen programs, as well as our Summer Celebration and Concerts in the Park?are net loss programs. While these are also planned within our program budget, they provide unique opportunities for community involvement. I believe some programs like these are necessary and a great benefit to our residents, and I would like to find more opportunities to increase offerings for both seniors and teens.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
The Park District has seen a great deal of change during the last six years, particularly with the closing of Maplewood Elementary School. According to our 2006 Master Plan, the area surrounding this school site, the oldest area of the community, has a shortage of recreational and open space. If the property were to be redeveloped, the Village of Cary and Park District would work to maximize the amount of land set aside by the developer for recreational and open space needs, as required by Village ordinance.
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?
According to our 2006 Master Plan, community-wide survey and focus groups conducted at the time, there were unmet recreational needs in the community. The highest priority items included: New recreational/fitness center, new indoor/outdoor aquatics, pedestrian trails, skate park, athletic fields at Cary Grove Park and a dog park. In the last six years, some of these items have been accomplished by the Park District with the assistance of state or federal government grants. I plan to continue to look for opportunities to accomplish those remaining needs through public/private agreements, grants or other creative financing.
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?
In line with my core issue, I believe sharing resources with local governments is a valuable way to provide additional benefits to residents. Currently, the Park District works with six units of government in Cary, listed below, and I would like to see those opportunities increase. Additionally, the Park District has initiated discussions with the Village of Cary to identify areas we can save money on joint purchases. Cary School District 26 - Extended Time (before/after school care) Program High School District 155 Cary Grove High School shared parking agreement Algonquin Township Highway Department Equipment sharing Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association Pool, community center Village of Cary?Police Department parking for squad cars McHenry County Conservation District FelPro/RRR Site sharing for Park District Summer Day Camp
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.
Most recently, I was honored to be named the 2013 recipient of the Mike Cassidy Commissioner Community Service Award at the Illinois Association of Park Districts? annual conference. Major accomplishments during my time as President or a Committee Chair on the Park Board: Expansion and renovation of Community Center (1997, 2009) Successful referendum and acquisition of Hoffman Park (1999) Negotiated purchase of Foxford Hills Golf Club (2004) Skate Park at Lions Park (2009) Community Trial Development, linking Foxford Hills Golf Course, Cary Grove Park and Cary Jr. High School (2011)* Hoffman Park Dog Park and Trail (2011)* Maintenance Facility Renovation (2012) *Facilitated through state or federal grant. Additionally, I assisted with several other accomplishments while serving on the Board: Acquisition of 596 acres of park land Purchase and development of Cary Grove Park Secured approximately $1 million in grants for park development Acquired 24 park sites through developer negotiation/purchase Developed intergovernmental agreement with District 26 for Extended Time program Negotiated lease agreement with Village of Cary for Senior Center Negotiated annexation of Hoffman Park into Village of Cary Illinois Distinguished Agency Accreditation (2000, 2006, 2013)