Jim Cooke: Candidate Profile

St. Charles parks

Updated 2/23/2011 3:47 PM
  • Jim Cooke, running for St. Charles parks

    Jim Cooke, running for St. Charles 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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City: St. Charles

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: St. Charles parks

Age: 57

Family: Married with 3 children

Occupation: Attorney

Education: Knox College, BA, 1976

Chicago Kent College of Law, JD, 1979

Civic involvement: St. Charles Park District Board, current president

St. Charles Park Foundation Board, current president

Tri-City Health Partnership Board, current president

Kane County Historic Preservation Commission, board member

Mid-America Horse Show Association board, current president

Youth soccer (TCSA) and basketball (Storm) coach

Elected offices held: St. Charles Park Board (1984-present)

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

Questions & Answers

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

I have no specific programs that I would change or eliminate at this time.

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

The park board has established a long range capital plan which sets forth areas and properties which, if they became available, the district would consider acquiring subject to financial constraints at the time. As a general rule, I favor the ongoing acquisition of land to serve the needs of our constituents.

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?

We are always exploring and examining the recreational needs of our constituents. Again, expansion of these programs must be considered within the context of our budget and other financial considerations of the district.

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 St. Charles Park District has a long history of successful intergovernmental cooperation with the surrounding governmental entities, including the Kane County Forest Preserve District, St. Charles School District, City of St. Charles and Kane County, to name a few. Generally, it is my belief that such cooperative efforts, if properly structured, are most desirable, as they ""stretch"" the tax dollar and promote fiscal efficiency.

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.

As a member of the board, I have participated in too many initiatives and accomplishments to list. However, the most current accomplishments would revolve around the passage of the referendum several years ago, and the construction and planned opening of the Otter Cove Aquatic Park, Hickory Knolls Discovery Center and the renovated Pottawatomie Park Swanson Pool, as well as the appointment of a new director (Ray O.) for the district.