Eileen Geary: Candidate Profile

Wauconda parks

Updated 2/23/2011 4:08 PM
  • Eileen Geary, running for Wauconda parks

    Eileen Geary, running for Wauconda parks



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



City: Wauconda

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Wauconda parks

Age: 47

Family: I am married and have two children Rachel 13, and Ryan 15.

Occupation: I retired 5 years ago from the position of General Manager for a company that I had worked with for 24 years, to be able to spend more time with my children as they grow up. I now work as a substitute office secretary in the Wauconda School District.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business and Management, University of Redlands, 1993

Civic involvement: I am actively involved with the Wauconda Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for School District 118. I have been serving as President of the Wauconda Middle School PTO for the last four years. I am a Waucondafest Committee member and serve as co-chair of the Food Vendor Committee.

Elected offices held: Board of Commissioners Wauconda Park Dist. 2007-2011

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Continue enriching the lives of both younger and older residents of the community by providing recreational opportunities for all residents. I believe parks are the focal point of a community, especially for family activity. I also believe that a quality Park District has a positive impact on the fiscal health of a community; it attracts people seeking a great place to live.

Key Issue 2

Insure continued financial responsibility. The park has been able to continue offering high quality programs during these challenging times and operates within its means. We must continue this. Our Board is fortunate to be able to work with a highly qualified staff of park professionals to ensure we are both effective and efficient. Even as the economy has turned down and we receive less revenue, we have been able to continue to offer a great level of service to our residents.

Key Issue 3

Seek grant funding. We have been able to secure some great neighborhood parks throughout Wauconda. Maintaining them and updating equipment will remain a priority. Seeking grants to develop the district's current facilities has been very successful in the past and we must continue that effort.

Questions & Answers

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

The goal is to have program fees cover the costs of the program. If there are not enough people registered to run the program it can and should be cancelled. There are a few free community events that we offer such as the egg hunt, the tree lighting and concerts in the park. We try to get sponsorships for these programs to help with the cost. I would not change or eliminate them, as I believe they are what make our community a more desirable place to live.

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

We are not actively seeking out more space at this time, but we are always interested in opportunities that may arise as our community grows. The Park properties should grow as the community grows, as long as you can do that with fiscal responsibility.

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?

The needs of our residents continually change. As a board member I value community input. We did a survey assessment in 2009 and I believe in doing future surveys in order to keep in touch with our residents.

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 our community the Park District has a good working relationship with our local governmental agencies. We all understand that working together can be beneficial for our community. We currently do some sharing of resources with the School District, the Village of Wauconda, and others.

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.

My primary leadership accomplishment over the past 4 years as a park board member has been my ability to remain engaged with staff at all times and listen to their recommendations about our operation and then make informed decisions that are best for our community.

During my term, we have finished Fieldbrook Park in the Liberty Lakes Area that offers additional baseball fields, soccer fields, playgrounds and an ice rink in the winter. The Shoreline project at Cook Park, which the district was able to get a grant of $267,000 to help pay for, now has a nature boardwalk, bocce ball and shuffleboard court, and gazebo that looks out over beautiful Bangs Lake.

In addition, I went to Springfield in 2009 with Park District Director Nancy Burton to participate and support our grant presentation on why Wauconda should receive a grant to help build Sedgebrook Park. In this grant process we competed with other Park Districts in Illinois. As a result of staff work and our efforts in Springfield, the Park District received a grant of $279,000 to help build that Park. This allowed us to develop tennis courts and a basketball court, which without this funding would not have been installed.