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: Wauconda Park Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Wife Kristen and one year old son Hunter
Occupation: Firefighter/Paramedic for Wauconda Fire District since 2003
Education: Bachelor of Science in Fire Service Management, Southern Illinois Carbondale
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
One of the most important issues any elected official must be concerned with is the financial impact its tax levy places on the residents of their district. With the economic roller coaster our local, state, and federal governments have been on in the last several years, this issue has hit closer to home than ever before. I think the Wauconda Park District and its current board has done an outstanding job keeping their levy at a rate that is fair to their residents while still offering an outstanding variety of affordable programs. It's my intention to not only keep our levy low, but to work on continually bettering the services and facilities the Wauconda Park District has to offer.
Key Issue 2
The Wauconda Park District has a rich offering of programs and events throughout the year. To continue to elevate the positive impact the Wauconda Park District can have on the community, awareness for its curriculum, services and facilities will need to be increased. Organizations like the Wauconda Park District are only as great as the lives they positively impact. Through grass roots awareness campaigns, many more Wauconda residents can benefit from and experience everything the Wauconda Park District has to offer.
Key Issue 3
I would like to work closely with Wauconda Park District staff on developing programs and events that utilize the Village of Wauconda's greatest asset; Bangs Lake. Currently the Park District puts on, with the help of a number of dedicated sponsors and volunteers, a very popular triathlon. I would like to build off the success of this triathlon and try to encompass more special events that utilize Bangs Lake to the fullest potential. This will not only generate revenue for the Park District and surrounding businesses, but will add to the already growing popularity of Wauconda as a tourist destination.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
If elected to the Board, myself and others would conduct fact-finding to determine if and what programs may or may not be paying for themselves. However, I do not think that a program's ability to pay for itself is the only deciding factor on the program's sustainability. What should be evaluated is how a particular program serves the community, and what the impact would be to residents if the program is retained or terminated. If the programs in question are an integral part of the value the Wauconda Park District brings to its constituents, it is then up to the Wauconda Park District Board and staff to exercise fiscal responsibility by lowering costs and/or generating the necessary profit through other programs to sustain the programs in question.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
As of right now I think that the Wauconda Park District has enough space to grow with land they already own. However, that should not stop the Wauconda Park District from continually monitoring available land and making acquisitions that can benefit the park and its constituents operationally, and possibly even financially as an investment.
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?
If you take a quick glance at the seasonal mailer or Wauconda Park District website, you'll see the Wauconda Park District offers a great variety of programs that can suit just about anyone's needs. With that said I think there should be an easily accessible forum for residents and other patrons of the Wauconda Park District to voice their thoughts and ideas for improvements and new programs. There is no better way to generate ideas for how to improve an organization than to ask those that are directly impacted by the programs, services and facilities currently offered. No ideas should be turned down unilaterally based on the current economic times.
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?
As an active member of a fellow local government entity, I get to see first hand the incredible amount of resource sharing the Wauconda Park District does with the Wauconda Fire District. I would advocate that this same pooling of resources goes on with other forms of local government in and around the Village of Wauconda. The Wauconda Park District board should remain vigilent in ways that resources can continue to be shared to improve operational efficiences and expense management.
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.
Since living in Wauconda nearly a decade, I've actively participated in Wauconda Park District programs and special events. I've always appreciated the facilities and programs that the Wauconda Park District has to offer. Now that I've become a father, it's even more apparent to me the importance a highly functional and affordable Park District program is to a community. I would consider it an honor and privilege to contribute my time, knowledge and leadership to help ensure the Wauconda Park District continues to offer the highest benefit to residents in the near and long-term.