Kevin Tan: Candidate Profile
Oak Brook Park Board
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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: Oak Brook
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Twitter: Candidate did not respond.
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Family: Sharon Tan is my wife, and I have three children, Kristin, Marc and Jasmine.
Occupation: Retired Chief Investment Officer
Education: Claremont McKenna College, BA 1987
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, MBA 1987
Civic involvement: Treasurer and Commissioner, Oak Brook Park District since June 2015
Butler Junior High International Day Chairman, 2017.
Elected offices held: Treasurer and Commissioner, Oak Brook Park District since June 2015
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 want to give back to this wonderful Oak Brook Community that has seen my daughter grow into a beautiful young lady. As a retired Chief Investment Officer, I bring to the community a strong background in finance, a conservative approach to management and a love for parks and recreation. Most important of all, I now have the time necessary to devote to the oversight of our Park District, the experience of almost two years as a Park Commissioner building on a 26-year career in banking.
Our children today spend too much time on their cell-phones and computers. I want our park district to provide facilities, activities and opportunities that will bring our young out to enjoy our wonderful outdoors, to take a walk with their families, to wait with anticipation the call of "Play Ball!" and to fully appreciate all that nature has to offer.
As our baby boomer generation reaches retirement, I want to make sure we continue to provide more accessible facilities, better programming for our retired and retiring community, and to keep our pioneer community engaged, interested and active.
Most of all, I want to make sure our staff have all the tools they need to maintain our level of service that allowed us to win the 2015 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. We are blessed to live in a community that has the tremendous assets of the Oak Brook Park District. I want to make it better.
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.
I believe the state of the district's finances are good. We have operated under budget every year since I have been a Commissioner, and continue to do so. I want to make sure the Oak Brook Park District continues to operate in a fiscally conservative manner, and that any investments we make also make sense from a financial standpoint.
Over the last year, I have advocated for restructuring of our Finance Department (which happened at the end of 2016) and pushed for better management reporting of our finances. This new format should come to effect in mid-2017, and will provide a better picture of our fixed and marginal costs and revenues, resulting in better decision making for our executive staff.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
Most, if not all, our programs are paying for themselves when all costs and revenues are fully allocated. Nevertheless, we continue to evaluate how each program is serving the community with a view of improving the overall services and programs offered by the Park District. Where there are programs that are not explicit revenue generators, we provide them as a service to the community - for example the maintenance of our many walking and biking trails within the community.
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
I believe we can better connect the various walking/biking paths within the village of Oak Brook. Many Sub-Divisions or Home Owners Associations have excellent walking or biking paths within their compounds, but many do not link to other areas in a coordinated and cohesive way to provide for longer rides/walkways. We will work with the Village and the various Home Owners' Associations over the next few years to better connect these paths and improve the ability for our residents to enjoy the greater community of Oak Brook.
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.
During my tenure as Park Commissioner:
- The Oak Brook Park District was awarded the 2015 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
- The Oak Brook Tennis Center, was one of 12 winners in the 35th annual USTA Facility Awards program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country.
- The Oak Brook Park District started an award winning honey bee program in the Deans Nature Sanctuary in 2016.
As part of our strategic planning exercise in 2016, I proposed a summer program to allow our youth to get more involved in the community and those less fortunate than ourselves. This summer, we will be offering such a camp to our school-aged population.
I also advocated for better financial reporting to provide a better view of our fixed and marginal costs and revenues for the Park District. This resulted in a restructuring of our finance department, and we expect to see an improved version of our financial reporting in the next few months.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Our community continues to evolve, demographically and culturally. I want to make sure we can anticipate these changes and continue to prudently invest in our facilities, staff and services to provide for the best in parks and recreation services for the Oak Brook Community going forward.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Vice President Mike Pence - he has a difficult job but he is executing with dignity and grace.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Nothing. I am blessed today because of everything God has thrown my way in the past. Changing the past will change my present.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
I enjoyed mathematics in school - it provided me with a logical frame of reference upon which I used to plan my future.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.