Evan Wolfe: Candidate Profile
DuPage County Forest Preserve District 1 (Democratic)
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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Single with no children
Occupation: Financial services
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL
Civic involvement: I have volunteered with my church and a local dog rescue group
Elected offices held: None
Outline two initiatives you have to improve the forest preserve district.
I would like to see more transparency on the Forest Preserve District board. The recent, and swift, apparent firing and hiring of the executive director was not done in accordance with open government laws, which is troubling for advocates of open, accountable government. I propose always following applicable laws in holding meetings and public disclosure. Another initiative I have is to get more involvement from local schools. I believe that schools could take more field trips to local preserves to instill a true appreciation for the environment in our young people, who will one day care for it themselves.
What role should be the forest preserve district play in preserving historic buildings on its land?
I believe the FPD should focus mainly on preserving the land it owns and not the buildings on that land. The purpose of buying land is to keep it as undeveloped as possible. However, if land is purchased with historically significant buildings already on it, I believe the FPD could assist with preserving such structures. For example, I believe that the FPD should not spend its own financial resources to preserve buildings, but it could lend its engineers or architects to privately-funded groups who raise their own donations for the preservation of historic buildings.
Are you satisfied with how the district responded to complaints from volunteers about the treatment of horses at the Danada Equestrian Center? Why or why not? Does more need to be done?
Yes, I am satisfied with the FPD's response to the allegations of abuse of horses at Danada. I think a second investigation was warranted and Commissioner Burns was a good choice to lead it. I am glad that her recommendations are being implemented and I am satisfied that the matter is resolved. I agree that volunteers need to be free to raise concerns without retaliation and suggestions for improvement should always be considered.
Do you think forest preserve members should receive pensions? Why or why not? If elected, will you accept a pension?
I believe that elected officials, like many private sector jobs, should be eligible for a retirement plan if they qualify. I oppose lavish pension plans or qualifying for a pension right away, but if some requirements are met, then I do not oppose a retirement plan for forest preserve members. If I am elected and if I qualify for one, I would accept a pension. I would, however, support a reduction in the salary of forest preserve members.
The forest preserve district has been approached by several agencies looking to use its land for other purposes. Describe your position on such requests and if it is ever appropriate to develop forest preserve land for non-forest preserve activities.
I believe that in general, the FPD's land should not be used for non-forest preserve purposes. The FPD purchases land strategically with the usual goal of keeping it undeveloped and eventually returning it to its natural state. Also, allowing other agencies to use the FPD's land would hinder the function of its land as areas for stormwater runoff.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I believe that the most important issue facing the FPD is remaining independent from the county board. It took several years and much effort to get a separate forest preserve board in DuPage county and it is critical that it remain that way to prevent conflicts of interest in developing county land. Another important issue, mentioned above, is helping with stormwater management, which the FPD does by keeping some of its land undeveloped. The golf courses that the FPD owns are also used for this purpose.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
To treat others as I want to be treated, with respect
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would get involved with campaigns and elections earlier than I did
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Social studies or history was my favorite and it helps because those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Listen to many, trust few, follow none