Thomas Wilbeck: Candidate Profile

Mchenry Commmunity College School Board (6-year Terms) (Republican)

Updated 2/22/2013 6:25 PM
  • Thomas Wilbeck, running for Mchenry Commmunity College School Board (6-year Terms)

    Thomas Wilbeck, running for Mchenry Commmunity College School Board (6-year Terms)



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: Lakewood


Office sought: Mchenry Commmunity College School Board (6-year Terms)

Age: 62

Family: Married to Sharon for 39 years. 4 children: Thomas II - MCC Grad & ASU Grad Lindsay - MCC Grad & Columbia College Grad Corrie - ISU Grad Natalie - MCC Grad & UIC Grad

Occupation: Semi retired - Financial Services Consultant

Education: Wright City College AA Grad NIU Grad - BS Accounting

Civic involvement: Seneca Township Planning Commission

Elected offices held: Seneca Township Trust 2001-2005

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I am a strong advocate of the community college system, however,"practical leadership" is needed for the MCC trustee position. Taxpayers and students need to be represented. All assets and resources need to be fully utilized prior to asking for a 9.9% tax increase. In these economic times, such requests are not in the best interests of the tax payer while classroom utilization rates are below 50%.

Key Issue 2

A $42 million dollar expansion request to be funded via bond issuance without tax payer approval! A feasibility study for this project that is subject to conflict of interest questions. Part of this $42 million dollar request is targeted for a public/private partnership of a "for profit" health club. The private part of this partnership has no financial risk. The risk is on the tax payer.

Key Issue 3

MCC must be prepared to meet future educational needs. A long term expansion plan by the college is targeted at $640 million dollars. Is this warranted? Future student enrollment and general population projections are down. Use of technology lends itself to provide more on-line classes. This will provide the ability to more effectively use the existing class rooms .

Questions & Answers

With enrollment up at my many community colleges, it can be challenging to keep pace as far as available classroom/lab space, the number of qualified teachers and available course work options. How would you manage that?

The current classroom utilization at MCC is below 50%. Needs can be met with more effective utilization of available space. Teachers with practical experience provide a valued resource. The use of Adjunct Professors can provide an effective teaching source. The Masters (in any discipline) requirement for Adjunct Professors should be eliminated.

In tough economic times, many students (and working professionals) turn to a community college for its educational value. How do you ensure that a person's financial sacrifice results in an educational benefit?

This is exactly one of the many benefits a community college provides. Future costs have to be managed more effectively to keep the cost of education affordable.

Is a tax rate increase needed and, if so, how do you justify it?

A tax increase is not needed. The trend of asking the tax payers for more has to stop. More effective use of the existing assets and resources is what is needed. These economic times do not dictate more from the tax payer.

Community colleges provide many services to a diverse population. Is there a service your college should be providing that it is not, or reaching a segment of the population that it is not?

Community colleges must continually be aware of the diverse employment and educational needs of the community. The college staff must perform a cost/benefit analysis to determine if future services can be provided.

If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for the community college board? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.

Myself and most members of my family have experienced the benefits that a community college provides. The current expansion plans proposed by the existing leadership has prompted me to get involved, offer my expertise, and run to make a difference. These expansion plans if implemented will prove costly to the student body and to the tax payer.