David Andrejek: Candidate profile
Name: David Andrejek
City: Rolling Meadows
Office sought: Commissioner of the Park District
Age (on Election Day): 47
Family: I have been married to a wonderful woman, Dina, since 2002. I also have two wonderful children. My son, Dominic, is 15 years old and is a freshman at RMHS. My daughter, Danielle, is 11 and is in 5th grade at Kimball Hill School.
Occupation: I've spent 22 years (most of that with Motorola) working as an electrical engineer designing wireless communication equipment, and other electrical hardware. But 18 months ago, I left engineering to pursue a professional educator's license, and I am now teaching engineering and industrial technology to high school students.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University; Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University.
Civic involvement: Cubmaster of Rolling Meadows Cub Scout Pack 96, 2011-2015; Volunteer youth sports coach; 2009 -- 2010, 2014-2015
Previous elected offices held: Commissioner of the Rolling Meadows Park Board, 2011-present. President of the Park Board, 2015 -- 2016. Vice President of the Park Board, 2014 -- 2015. Treasurer of the Park District, 2013-2014.
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Yes, I was first elected in 2011 and have been on the park board ever since.
What are the most important issues facing your park district and how do you intend to address them?
The most important issue facing the district right now is succession planning, or in other words, identifying and developing the next generation of leaders for the park district. The Rolling Meadows park district has been very fortunate to have an outstanding staff, including the executive director and several superintendents that have been pivotal in getting the district in a fiscally sound position and truly acts as good stewards of taxpayer dollars. At some point in the not too distant future, I do anticipate a retirement or two, and finding a replacement will be the most important job of the park board. Making the wrong decision here could put the district on the wrong path that can take years or even decades to recover from. As an experienced board member, I believe I have the right background knowledge to ensure a proper decision is made, and to avoid a decision that might present with lots of flare, but be short on substance.
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 have served as a Park Commissioner for two four-year terms. It has been an extremely rewarding experience serving on the board, and interacting with the park employees & the community. In the years I've been on the board, our district, parks, and facilities have seen significant improvement. First and foremost is the elimination of the deficit that occurred from decisions made many years ago. The district has been on firm financial footing for the past several years, and I intend to help keep it that way. In addition to this, there has been an ongoing dedication to maintaining & improving our parks and facilities to enhance the enjoyment & accessibility to the community, and to prevent a significant expense years down the road.
Which programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
The item that comes to mind when considering what doesn't pay for itself is the pool. This is common among most public pools and it is something communities deal with because a pool is highly desirable in the summer heat. Despite the loss associated with it, I am not in favor of eliminating the Nelson Sports Complex pool, as I believe this is something the community enjoys and wishes to maintain. Additionally, this pool was enhanced with a splash pad a few years ago. The splash pad has the benefit of providing a varied experience without the extra costs of a larger pool (such as costs for more lifeguards). The pool that was previously located at Plum Grove Park was poorly attended and required major repairs to get it back to the point of being operational. Therefore, the board made the decision to close that pool and it is currently in process of being made into a beautiful open space that will enhance the indoor venue already located there. I believe this was a fiscally sound decision that will improve the facilities, reduce operational costs, and allow more attention to the district's premier pool at the sports complex.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
Rolling Meadows is a mature community with little to no new residential development occurring. As such, the opportunity to acquire new open space is limited. If opportunities for more land present themselves, they should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to see if it the acquisition makes sense.
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
The staff at the park district is very good at coming up with new programs, figuring out a way to implement them, and then offering the new program to the public. The decision of whether or not those programs survive comes down to the public's decision to enroll and participate or not. Over the years, I have seen programs that I was sure would be a hit, completely fail to gain interest, and vice versa. As such, I've learned to let those on the front line of recreation in the park district do their job.