Michael Capizzano: Candidate Profile
Addison 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.
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Family: Married to Laura: 30 years
6 children: Jennifer, Micheal, Marcus, Rachael, Matthias,Rianna
Occupation: Human Services
Education: Business Administration
Civic involvement: Village of Addison: Zoning Board of Appeals Commissioner, 20 years; Addison Rec Club volunteer, current active, 23 years;
Americans of Italian Descent DuPage Chapter, current 16 years; Addison Trail football coach, current 11 years, Addison youth softball, volleyball, little league, and football coach combined 17 years; Illinois Department of Aging, volunteer SHIP Counselor (Senior Health Insurance Program for Medicare, Medicaid and Benefit Access); DuPage County CERT volunteer (Community Emergency Response Team) Incident Commander currently active for 4 years; ACT (Addison Concerned Teens for senior citizen and community services)Sponsor and Counselor, current active for 16 years;
Elected offices held: Vice President, Secretary, Commissioner; Buildings, Grounds and Facilities Chairman; Senior Citizens liaison; Youth Clubs liaison; School District 88 liaison;
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?
The purpose of my running for Park Commissioner is two fold. One; to continue the progress we have made in the culture and attitude of staff and the Board of Commissioners. By changing the executive leadership and department heads within our Park we ushered in a culture of accountability, cooperation and respect for the people of Addison. The new attitude and culture of our current leadership is one of respect, commitment, and service providing the best services for the people of Addison. Under my tenure we now fully recognize our Volunteer Partners, (who were never recognized as partners) the Addison Senior Club & Senior Commission, AGSP, the Addison Frogs, Addison United Soccer, and the Rec Club and acknowledge the valuable contributions they provide for Addison. They in turn have recognized the change in attitude from our staff and Park Commissioners. Under the previous executive leadership and management, grave injustices have been done to our partners and we are correcting them. We have ushered in an era of cooperation and respect for our partners, as well as for all the resident of Addison. It took us six years to move forward. We cannot take a step backwards. Regressing back to the days of complacence, callousness and reckless spending by the board and staff. Two; I am running to continue the forward momentum of service, and accountable government to the Addison residents. By cutting waste and increasing new and innovative methods of revenues and funding from sources other than from taxes.
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 current Commissioners and staff are taking a conservative approach to borrowing and is focused on reducing deficit fund balances. Our hiring of new executive leadership and new management teams have improved our relations with the public and substantially reduced payroll and benefit overages by the previous administration. Our restructuring of staff duties, staff salaries and debt services have decreased the overall salary and benefit expenditures. Our credit strength includes the District maintaining margin under the property tax cap, a commitment to sustained positive financial operations resulting in fund balance growth and elimination of deficit fund balance positions and moderation of our debt burden. We will endeavor to increase the outside-of-Addison revenues market share for golf operations resulting in a predictable and increase revenues in our golf fund operations.
What programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
Just as the Village has non-revenue generating programs such as snow plowing of our roads, the Park has revenue generating programs and a couple that don't pay for themselves. The Pool Fund is the latter. Our pool, termed by the industry as a Box pool, when built had life expectancy of 20 years. Our pool is entering its 40th year of existence. Outside pools in the Chicago metro area are not revenue generators, rather a service to enhance the life style and elevate the standard of living to the residents of Addison. The pool has run at a yearly operation deficit of approximately $25k. Since 2006 the Board has wrestled with how much money will be needed for necessary repairs to open for the season. In August, 2016, the Board directed staff to provide a concise report detailing the necessary repairs to the pool to open it for the next 5 years. Staff had necessary inspections, vetting costs and rebidding costs, including inside sourcing, of required repairs to the pool barring catastrophic incident. One realization is that a catastrophic incident WILL occur rather than when it will occur. Staffs' comprehensive evaluation of necessary repairs to the pool will exceed $900,000 in the next three years. That excludes a catastrophic incident or costs of operations. Our final report came in January, 2017. The heavy hearten conclusion was the forty year old pool after years of ever increasing safety and needed repairs will permanently close after the 2017 season.
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
Last year the Park District offered over 7,000 programs attended by 17,000 participants. User based fees have been implemented for new programs and funding.
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.
Initiated sponsor of SALT, Seniors And Law enforcement Together, I brought this program to Police Chief Mel Mack, Senior Coordinator Geri Estavanich and Senior Club President Helen DiMaria.
Initiated and provided sourcing for non tax based alternative revenue generation with the Nike Park cell tower and Athletico physical therapy.
Initiated the Wounded Warrior project which was then absorbed by NEDSRA.
Provided leadership for the 100% funding of the $1.6mm Indian Trail gym at no cost to the Addison taxpayers.
Initiated, sponsored took the leadership position and accomplished the permanent equipment storage facilities for the Addison Rec Club at Nike Park and AGSP at Community Park. Allowing safe storage and 24 hour access to equipment for our youth sports partners.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Most important to me as a candidate is that the Park District will not go backwards in it's progress of respect, cooperation and transparency with our partners in other governmental agencies, our in house partners, and youth partners and the residents of Addison. We cannot go back to the intolerance and arrogance of past administrators. As Park Commissioner I will continue to move us forward setting the standard as the model for other park districts.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Pope Francis. He has shown compassion for those in need and less fortunate.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Treat family as friends and friends as family.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would have married my wife sooner.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
My Business Law classes were my favorite classes. It has helped in all aspects of my private and public life.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Perseverance, practice and persistence are essential to success.