Daniel Olson: Candidate profile
Name: Daniel J. Olson
City: Villa Park
Office sought: School District #88 Board Member
Family: Engaged, 3 sons, 1 stepson and 1 stepdaughter
Occupation: IT Senior Programmer
Education: Graduated from Hinckley-Big Rock HS, Bachelors from Northern Illinois University, MBA from Aurora University
Civic involvement: Boy Scouts of America, Willowbrook Athletic Boosters
Previous elected offices held: None
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
Safety of our students. The District is working with Local law enforcement on making improvements and educating the staff and students.
Keeping a dedicated staff to provide the experiencing needed for our students to succeed during and after their time at the schools in the district.
Keeping the level of educational and outside the classroom experiences while the State works out it's issues to fund the Illinois School System.
How satisfied are you that your school district is adequately preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?
I have 3 sons and a step son that have graduated from Willowbrook. All seem prepared for their next steps (1 -- UTI, 1- Enlisted in the Army, 2 -- College). They have always done a very good job of course selections and keeping up with the college bond student needs. Recent programs by the district have started to look at the students not college bound.
What budgetary issues will your district have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support any tax increases? Be specific.
Infrastructure will be a big budget expense. Both schools need to maintain the buildings and athletic facilities. Pay and benefits for the staff to keep the dedicated staff that is in place at both schools. Cuts or elimination of programs would only hurt the students. If we want our students to succeed, we will have to find ways to maintain the level of education we have today. Losing that level would not benefit the students.
Without having been on the board in the past I am don't think I can talk about taxes and how they are used in the budget process. Suggesting a tax increase would be premature on my part. Watching what a referendum did to a local school district while I was growing up, I would hope the district does not have to go in that direction any time soon.
Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any member of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?
As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
I do not believe the employees should have to give up what they currently have in place. I am sure benefits will always have some increase as the costs of health care rise. It will be a challenge to maintain the level of those benefits in the future.
If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
Any increase should be earned based on their performance. I do believe the state has caps on pay increases, so they would not be considered substantial.