William Starr: Candidate Profile
Mount Prospect Park Board (4-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.
City: Mt. Prospect
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Mount Prospect Park Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, 3 children, 3 grandchildren
Occupation: Own and operate a telecommunications brokerage company. Retired from the US Army with rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Marquette University 1968. Graduate of US Army Command and General Staff College, 1990 equivalent to Masters of Military Science.
Civic involvement: Commander of American Legion Post 525 Mt Prospect; Annual American Legion Awards presenter to deserving students of 5 Mt Prospect junior high and middle schools. American Legion Baseball Coach/Manager/Fund Raiser; VFW member and Essay Contest Chairman; Master of Ceremonies for Mt Prospect Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. Mt Prospect Shining Star Award 2012 St Cecilia's Church, Lecter IHSA member football official
Elected offices held: Commander of Mt Prospect American Legion Post 525, 7 years
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No, never.
Key Issue 1
To insure the high quality and variety of park district parks, facilities and programs while being fiscally responsible and sensitive to the needs of the community.
Key Issue 2
It is imperative that the board of commissioners seek out and encourage resident input and involvement in the workings of their park district so the board can represent the interests of all of the people of the community. To do this effectively the actions of the board need to be more transparent and easily accessable to the public. Also, I believe the board members should take every opportunity to meet with the media. This will result in timely information being made available to the residents who may very well be affected by the board actions.
Key Issue 3
Neglect and disrepair of infrastructure can be the downfall of any park district. The Park District must be one that the residents can be proud of. It is, therefore, required that maintenance of existing facilities be a high priority while balancing the need for funding elsewhere.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
There are some programs that are not as self sustaining as they could/should be. These include outdoor swimming pools, youth athletics especially baseball and the RecPlex non pool memberships. Note: I am not endorsing raising these program fees. What is needed is a more robust participation. These areas must be kept, of course, but need additional creative marketing focus to regain popularity and expected revenues.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
Open space in Mt Prospect is at a premium but I believe any open space that comes available be considered (within our means) for acquisition. The demands of the community are many and varied so new space would undoubtedly be used. There is interest in a dog park, driving range, adult baseball field, and a frisbee golf course.
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?
A dog park, a frisbee golf course, adult baseball field,a driving range, and an outdoor pool (on the district's south side), are among some current unmet needs. Each of these projects has merit and could potentially be not only self sustaining but a source of revenue to offset other programs as stated above, These new ideas (projects) must be worked on particularly with other neighboring park districts where feasible. It is possible to share both the costs and benefits with neighboring communities.
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?
Yes. The village and the local school districts serve the same residents that the park district serves. It only makes sense to work together. There are several examples of this in the park district already. For example, a maintenence truck that serves a special purpose like tree trimming could be shared.
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 candidate for Park District Commissioner, I am not focused on any one particular objective or mission. All residents are entitled to representation of their interests and concerns. Park commissioners are required by the Code of Ethics that they sign to keep an open mind when addressing board issues and strive to make the best decision for everyone involved and to be focused on the mission of the district and not on personal goals. Rest assured that I am interested in the park district as a whole. That is what I stand for. I believe that park commissioners must possess proven successful leadership skills and practical business experience. The community deserves nothing less. My Business, Military and local successful track record speaks for itself. In recent months there have been disruptions and distractions during Park District Board meetings. I STRONGLY believe that politically and socially diverse park commissioners will, of course, not always agree but they must sort through issues and reason with one another in civil discourse. What is best for all of the people of the village from seniors to small children must come first. Collaberation is essential to progress. I have proven repeatedly (in business, military, and as Commander of the American Legion) that I possess the skills required to succeed not only as a park commissioner but continuing as a community leader.
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