Emily Ford: Candidate profile
Name: Emily Ford
City: Rolling Meadows
Office sought: Park District Board
Family: Husband: Jared Children: Makenna (6) Audrey (4) Charlie (1)
Occupation: 2nd Grade Dual Language Teacher
Education: Bachelor's Degree: Elementary Education; Masters Degree: Curriculum and Instruction Specializing in English as A Second Language
What are the most important issues facing your park district and how do you intend to address them?
One of the biggest issues the park district will have to face very soon will be the increase of minimum wage. We will have to work together to creatively find a way to increase salary. I believe it is very important to look at the budget as a whole and see how we can find a solution to this without automatically putting the cost onto the residents. Putting this cost back onto the residents will defeat the purpose of raising the minimum wage, to help parents and families have a better life.
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 am a newcomer to this election, running for the park board. It is a part of who I am to give back to the community and be involved whenever possible. I believe that bringing a fresh, new perspective is a positive move for any organization. I am one to look at all solutions possible, often times thinking outside of the box to find the best answer that will be most efficient and effective. This is a mindset that our Park District already follows, and I think I can be a great addition. My husband and I moved to Rolling Meadows 10 years ago and will be staying here to raise our family. My family and children participate in numerous Park District activities and programs: gymnastics, soccer, hockey, dance, summer camp, CARE, and multiple family events. It is important to me to make connections within the place we call home and be a part of an institution that my family will continue to participate in for years to come.
Which programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
I believe that if a program is not paying for itself, it is best to think about ways to change it before automatically choosing to eliminate it. It is important to provide programming for a wide range of interests and ages. The Park District already shares programming with surrounding park districts in order to bring more people in and keep a class or program open, and this is a great model to continue.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
Rolling Meadows Park District already has numerous wonderful parks and facilities. I believe it is important to spend the money on improving, maintaining, or changing the current locations, rather than look to acquire more land. It is important to stay within our means and remain fiscally responsible, rather than just look to build more and new.
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
When figuring out the unmet recreational needs, it is important to ask the residents. We have results from a comprehensive survey coming out very soon and this will give us great insight. It is not my place to say what we need and do not need, it is the residents. The residents are who we serve, not ourselves. In terms of paying for what the residents are interested in, again I believe it is important work within our means. We need to remain financially responsible, and hopefully once elected and I am able to learn even more about how the park district functions, we can look at the big picture of the budget to find solutions.