Michael Reiss: Candidate Profile

Salt Creek Park Board

  • Michael Reiss, running for Salt Creek Park Board

    Michael Reiss, running for Salt Creek Park Board

Updated 3/20/2017 3:34 PM

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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.

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City: Palatine

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Twitter: Candidate did not respond.

Facebook: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought:

Salt Creek Park Board

Age: 51

Family: Married 22 years. Two kids at Palatine High School.

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Occupation: IT Consultant

Education: B.S. Computer Information Systems

Civic involvement: Treasurer, Rotary Club of Palatine

Advancement Chair, BSA Troop 188

Elected offices held: Commissioner, Salt Creek Rural Park District. Currently serve as Board President. Past Treasurer.

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?

I am running for re-election to continue the progress we've made as a park district and to continue to give back to the community.

How do you assess the state of the district's finances? What, if any, changes do you propose to alter the district's financial picture, whether through cost reduction or revenue increases? Please be as specific as possible on where you would propose cutting or how you would propose increasing revenue.

The district's finances are in great shape and are the best they've been since I started on the board. The existing board and staff are continuously looking for, and taking advantage of, cost reduction and revenue generating opportunities. Therefore, I do not have any specific proposals for significant cost reductions or revenue increases at this time.

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

The board and staff reviews programs on a continuous basis and adjusts. The only concern I have is for golf, where numbers, like most courses throughout the area, have been down for many years now. We will continue to keep an eye on the numbers and try to increase play, but I do not foresee any near-term changes in this area.


Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?

The current board and staff works closely with surrounding park districts and agencies to collaborate and develop reciprocal agreements to help address unmet recreational needs. In addition, while there are some gaps in our master plan we would like to address, existing debt requires us to time these initiatives. New programs are only implemented with a corresponding revenue source.

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 an incumbent, I played a key role in getting the finances of the park district in order after some devastating losses in tax revenue. This included driving some changes to staff, cutting operational expenses and refinancing debt. I've supported investments to the Sports Center (which now generates a profit) as well as continuous improvements to all facilities and equipment in a fiscally responsible manner.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

Park District residents have seen increases in their tax rate over the years due to several commercial vacancies within district boundaries. As these properties return to use, residents should see a reduction in the tax rate. I continue to support the Arlington Downs development as this should further alleviate our resident's tax burden.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Candidate did not respond.

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

Candidate did not respond.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

Candidate did not respond.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Candidate did not respond.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Candidate did not respond.