From golf course design to grounds maintenance, all four candidates in the Palatine Park District board race bring related experience to their bid for one of two open seats serving 6-year terms.
The first is Sue Gould, a real estate broker who's been on the board since 1993. She's the lone incumbent following Commissioner Andy McPherson's decision not to seek re-election.
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Gould, 63, said she's committed to providing safe and affordable recreational activities to all park district residents, and wants to maintain programs and facilities while keeping taxes at a reasonable rate.
She said she played a key leadership role in several initiatives in the past 18 years, including the purchase of land for new and expanded parks, the renovation of the three existing pools, the replacement of dozens of playgrounds and improvements to several facilities and parks.
On the issue of any unmet recreational needs, Gould said she'd like to see the park district add an indoor pool. But, she said, resident input is a must.
"We would need to have a referendum and let our residents decide if they would be willing to support a possible tax increase to pay for something like that," Gould said.
One challenger with another kind of park district experience is Jeffrey Service, an employee of the Mount Prospect Park District's grounds maintenance department.
"It's time for some civic duty on my part, and I feel like I have some experience from an employee's standpoint on the park district's wants and needs," Service, 50, said.
Service said his top concern is the effect of the Affordable Care Act on costs and any resulting reorganization. He also said Palatine Stables is a "money pit" that needs to become a selling point for all residents. Service said the park district needs to look at other programs aimed at attracting more participants.
Terry Ruff, a senior VP at a financial services firm, said he'd also bring a unique perspective to the board due to his longtime involvement with Celtic Soccer. As president of the youth soccer club the last three years, he helped oversee the organization's $1.6 million project to install artificial turf fields near Palatine High School.
"It's a natural progression to go to the park board because I've worked with all areas of the park district and learned how they think and how they work," Ruff, 56, said.
Ruff said his top priorities are to hold taxes in check and to address impending issues at the aging Community Center building. He'd also like to see the park district have an indoor pool, but doesn't think it's a viable project in the current economy.
The fourth candidate is Doug Myslinski, a golf course designer who sits on the Palatine Plan Commission.
Myslinski, 43, said the park district should continue to provide programs that are innovative, environmentally conscious and educational. He said they should be accessible and affordable to the district's diverse residents.
In terms of unmet recreational needs, Myslinski said sometimes there can be a shortage of fields or courts because events in Palatine are big draws. He said the park district should consider an indoor pool as its next big investment, as long as maintenance and operation costs made sense. He also wants to develop a Kid Safe City to bring safety information to children.
"These types of facilities work in conjunction with our local fire, police and emergency responders," Myslinski said. "Safety and education of our park district children should always be our number one priority."
• To see complete coverage of all the suburban races, including candidate profiles, endorsements and news analysis, go to dailyherald.com/news/politics/election.