David J. Johnson: 2021 candidate for Schaumburg Park Commissioner
Three candidates for two four-year terms
Age on Election Day: 79
Occupation: Retired, retail management
Civic involvement: President, Schaumburg Park District; Village of Schaumburg -- founding member Bikeways Committee; founding member, past chairman Airport Commission; Schaumburg Park Foundation; awards chairman S-H Seniors Golf League; Illinois Association of Park Districts, chaired Joint Accreditation three terms; member of Spring Valley Nature Club; Schaumburg Garden Club; Hoffman Estates Garden Club; plus various civic organizations
Q. Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. I am running because I believe my hard-earned qualifications are a valuable asset to both the park board and the taxpaying public. I have devoted years of time working on almost every staffing, land acquisition, park development, financial matter.
We have earned national gold metals. I review every bill and financial report of a $40 million budget. I was honored as Commissioner of the Year by the Illinois Association of Park Districts.
Q. Did your park district continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A. Adjusted to state-mandated procedure was able to pivot meet the needs of the community. Working as a team we were able to create innovative programs like a fitness in the tent. Meineke Pool with one a few pools opened in the state. Zoom was used for a variety of programs. Golf, outdoor activities, etc. Adjusted when state mandate permitted added classes within guidelines and Kasper programs and preschool.
Q. In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A. Follow the state of Illinois guidelines and Illinois Park and Recreation guidelines, as they evolved.
Q. How has the pandemic affected the park district's offerings and use of facilities Are there other ways the park board can fulfill the mission of a park district during these time
A. We have implemented procedures to maximize public participation where allowed under state mandates.
Q. How has the pandemic affected the park district's revenue? How has that been addressed on the expense side?
A. Unfortunately, it was necessary to release valued personnel to protect the taxpayers. To maximize existing staff while closed, we proceeded with budget revisions and park upgrades. Retaining financial stability was essential in static planning.
Q. What other issues need to be addressed?
A. Continue LED lighting change over; complete Bison Bluff restrooms, pavilions, picnic area and pollinator garden, which we received a $400,000 grant from the state; with the board guidance the director guidance and the resilience of the staff, we have done an excellent job.