Bill Cooley: Candidate profile
Name: Bill Cooley
City: Rolling Meadows
Office sought: Rolling Meadows Park Board
Family: Son of Bob and Barbara Gayle Cooley- Both residents of Rolling Meadows since 1957 and still active in the RM Senior Center and St. Colette Church, Brother to Rob and Dan Cooley- both of whom went to schools in Rolling Meadows, Husband to my wonderful wife and best friend Deborah, and father to three terrific teen aged children Katie age 17, Connor age 15, and Kelly age 13.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Management, Southern Illinois University, 1985
Civic involvement: Current: Park Board Commissioner since 2007, Scoutmaster for BSA Troop 46. Past: Kimball Hill School PTA Co-President. Soccer Coach for many RM youth soccer teams
Previous elected offices held: Current Park Board Vice President, President of Park Board Two times, Vice President 3 times, Treasurer three times.
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? I was first elected to the Park Board in 2007
What are the most important issues facing your park district and how do you intend to address them?
Retirements: Our Director, Amy Charlesworth has informed us that in the next few years we will need to start looking for her replacement. In our search, all the commissioners will need to work together to chose the best candidate and help in the transition for their eventually take over. As the longest currently serving board member, my knowledge of past challenges and how they were addressed will be helpful to the new Director and the board.
Customer Surveys: Late last year we did a Customer survey to see what recreational needs if any are not being addressed. Soon the results of that survey will be presented to the board, at which time we will begin short and long range planning to try to meet and exceed those wishes.
Facility improvements for Customers with Disabilities: From time to time Public buildings are inspected to see if they are complying with the laws regarding Accessibility for those with disabilities. A recent audit has found items that need to be addressed. Budgeting these improvements while maintaining our current programs and services, while adding the new items citizens have requested in the earlier mentioned survey will be difficult, and will lead to difficult choices.
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.
I grew up in Rolling Meadows and with my children have been very active in Park District Programs and classes. Additionally, my parents are active members in the Rolling Meadows Senior Center. This has provided me with the ability to see first-hand opportunities for improvements in programs and services for all ages. Some of my accomplishments during my 12 years as a Park Commissioner include: Keeping the facilities in good working condition: we recently renovated the kitchens and floors in the Community Center and Senior Center, we have been repaving various Park District Parking lots; we are building a beautiful park to replace the broken and underutilized Plum Grove Pool area, We have added shade structures to parks. Additionally I have been Involved in renovations of the following areas: Florey Park, South Salk Park, Waverly Park and Creekside Parks. At the Sports Complex we added a Splash Pad Play Area, updated the locker rooms and added swim suit spinner/dryers, and we added a Frisbee Golf Course. At the same time we eliminated a large Recreation Fund deficit. Please vote for me and help me continue to make our Park District the best it can be.
Which programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
Our Park District offers a large selection of courses and programs with each one being evaluated independently. For most programs, if attendance is too low, the course is cancelled or combined with a similar class. In addition, whenever possible, we partner with other Park Districts to expand options and opportunities.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
None at this time
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
We are anxiously awaiting the results of our very recent community survey. This will help us determine what if any recreational needs are being unmet, and we will devise plans to address them.