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updated: 2/22/2013 6:20 PM

Jean Ackerson: Candidate Profile

Wauconda Park Board (4-year Terms) (Independent)

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  • Jean Ackerson, running for Wauconda Park Board (4-year Terms)

      Jean Ackerson, running for Wauconda 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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Wauconda

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Wauconda Park Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 40

Family: Married, four children

Occupation: Nurse Practitioner

Education: Bacholer of Science in Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1996 Master of Science in Nursing, North Park, 2004

Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I have to say that I really don't have anyissues? with the park district. I find the programs to be of good quality and they bring the community together. Ie. the Easter egg hunts, Tree lighting, Wauconda Fest, etc. The Executive Director is very approachable and whenever I have had a question or concern she is very receptive. I inquired on ADA accessible doors and was pleased to hear they are in the process of getting quotes. Being new to the board I would like know more about: District's financial stability Plans to preserve open space and maintain infrastructure Cooperative programs

Key Issue 2

I would like to see our park district strive for Accreditation Status by the Joint Distinguished Park and Recreation Agency.

Key Issue 3

I am interested to learn if the park district is maximizing grant options available through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and PARC Grant program in order to remain fiscally responsible.

Questions & Answers

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

As an newly elected official I would have a learning curve. I understand it would be my job to be thesounding board, help set the tone for new policy, review the master plan, current budget and overall financial stability of the district. I would leave the day-to-day operations and program decisions to the executive director to evaluate and do what is in the best interest of all the Wauconda residents. Continuous monitoring is warranted to determine if programs cost an exorbitant amount to run and if there are other options such as partnering with other agencies and districts to remain cost effective. I would like to see more cooperative agreements with other local agencies or districts to ensure quality programs will run and not have to cancel due to low turnout.

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

Since the park district recently acquired the area across Garland, I would like to see a community survey that asks the residents opinions as to how that space should be utilized.

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?

I see the aging active adult as area to strengthen. As the population continues to gray we need to be sure we are meeting their needs and encourage them to stay active. Working in health care as a nurse, I see the effects of decreased mobility and complications from disease. Choosing a healthy lifestyle by staying active, fit and having options to promote wellness can have a big impact on one's quality of life and disease prevention. One unmet need that has been a hot topic is an outdoor aquatic facility. I was glad to learn that we have a cooperative agreement with a neighboring park district for reduced rates for admission and use of their pool. Park districts are not just about soccer fields but rather meeting the diverse needs for all users of the parks, programs and services while remaining good stewards of our financial and natural resources.

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?

Partnering with other governmental agencies to share resources just makes sense. If the end result is better service and it saves money, it is a no brainer. If the Park District can tag onto village maintenance for contractual services that cross over and bid together to get a better discount on lawn services, paving, garbage pick up, etc. then everybody wins.

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 grew up in Arlington Heights Park District and it has always been a part of my life. My first job through high school and part of college was as a lifeguard, swim instructor, swim team coach and pool manager. Now that I have four young children and we utilize many of the park district programs I feel I have a unique perspective as a parent and participant of these programs. I see this volunteer position as my way of giving back to the community.

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