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updated: 2/22/2013 6:05 PM

John Meschewski: Candidate Profile

Dundee Township Park Board (6-year Terms) (Independent)

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  • John Meschewski, running for Dundee Township Park Board (6-year Terms)

      John Meschewski, running for Dundee Township Park Board (6-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: West Dundee

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Dundee Township Park Board (6-year Terms)

Age: 53

Family: Married: Wife Debbie, Three Children; Son: Andrew (24) Son: Joe (22) and Daughter Liz (16)

Occupation: Stay Home Dad since May 1999. Retired from Northwest Airlines.

Education: High School Graduate.

Civic involvement: I have been involved in numerous community organizations; Board Member Tri-Cities Little League 1999-2002. Willow Creek Impact host home: 2004-2008. Westminster Christian Girl's Basketball Asst. Coach: 2006-present The event I am most proud of is the Meschewski Open fundraiser: Since 1993 I have held an event to raise funds for McCAP (a school in WoodStock for mentally challenged young adults) over the past 20 years we have raised over $100k.

Elected offices held: Dundee Township Park District: 2007 to present

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

As a life long resident of the Dundee area and a current Park District Board Commissioner, we the Board, have to be careful stewards to our tax payers dollars. The Park District provides excellent services and recreational needs for over 60,000 residents of the county while maintaining a balanced budget. The Dundee Township Park District is the envy of all local Park Districts. My goal mirrors the Park District's MIssion Statement "Dundee Township Park District is committed to providing quality park areas, facilities and services for the present and future benefit and enjoyment of our entire community."

Key Issue 2

Child obesity is a major concern not only in Illinois, but nationally. I grew up on the east side of Carpentersville, as children, we were outside all day. There wasn't a ball field, park or playground empty. Today, it's easy for a child to stay indoors, with hundreds of television channels to chose from, video games, computer games, etc? Child Obesity is on the rise. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states: " Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years." The Park District has to provide programming opportunities to get children involved to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Key Issue 3

Meet the recreational needs of the diverse population that makes up the Dundee Township. The Park District has been able to meet the needs of our local seniors with an outstanding senior center at the Rakow Center. We have to continue to meet the needs of the Hispanic and low income populations through it's strong partnership with the Boys and Girls Club and Park District programing. In the past 6 years we have hired three full time bi-lingual staff to assist the District with acclimatizing that segment of the population to our programs and facilities.

Questions & Answers

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

Most of the Park District's recreation programs are operated on a profit or a break even basis. The golf courses have struggled in prior years to make a profit. The golf staff has done a wonderful job in the last few years to exceed their budget at both Bonnie Dundee and Randall Oaks. The District's aquatics facilities have always been subsidized by the District's tax dollars. Due to the seasonal nature of the aquatics programs, staffing, and maintenance issues the aquatic programs are under budget. Sleepy Hollow Pool has been in desperate need year after year with costly repairs.

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

Ideally I would like to see open space acquisitions on the east side of the community where development occurred in the 1950's. The population density is high compared to active open space. The Park District has been a big player in the initial open space in years past, with the purchase of Bonnie Dundee in 1991 and Raceway Woods in 1994. The District has pending developments of more resent properties including the Bartels and the Brunner sites. Dundee Township is the envy of other communities because of the extensive open space provided not only by the Park District, but also the Dundee Township and Forest Preserve properties. Bottom line; The more open space we can preserve the better.

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?

There are many unmet recreational needs our District could provide our community. The District has done an excellent job with both local schools and the Boys and Girls Club that involves our large Hispanic population on the east side. But, we can do a better job to reach out, welcome and educate these residents of our youth services and programs. We are in need of a new west side swimming pool. The dilemma, community pools lose money, but children need a place to cool off in the summer and learn to swim. The Sleepy Hollow pool is over 40 years old, the repairs have been a burden to the Park District and to the tax payers. Replacement of the pool will most likely require a referendum. My current position is to wait for the economy to improve and then let the community decide.

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?

The Park District has done an outstanding job pooling not only our resources, but the community's resources. Here is a list of a few major pooling agreements: 1999 with the Dundee Historical Society to save Centerville School and move it to Randall Oaks. In 2001 with School District 300 to enlarge Algonquin Lakes and Liberty Elementary Schools gyms. In 2002 a land exchange with the Village of West Dundee that brought an additional 6 acres to Tartans Glen Park. Recently in 2009 with the Forest Preserve's leasing agreement of 40 acres at the Brunner property. Last year with the Dundee Township Library to lease space at the new Randall Oaks Recreation Center. To name a few.

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.

Over the past six years while serving as a Commissioner on the Park District Board we completed the following projects: The Randall Oaks Recreation Center. A new state park at Huffman Park. Financial stability for the Boys and Girls Club. Leasing agreement for the Library at Randall Oaks Recreation Center. 40 acres of leased land from the Forest Preserve of Kane Co. In 2008 the District hired a private firm to conduct a community comprehensive needs assessment. This was instrumental in understanding the needs and wants of our community. More importantly, 95% of the survey participants feel that the Park District is a valuable asset to the community. That is a reflection of the outstanding staff and employees of the District.

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