Mike King: 2021 candidate for Naperville Park District board
Incumbent Mike King is one of eight candidates running for four seats on the Naperville Park District board in the April 6, 2021, election.
Occupation: Manager of Program Operations at Nicor Gas
Civic involvement: Naperville Park District Commissioner; board member of KidsMatter
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A: I am running for my second term for the park commissioner because Naperville has given me so much, lifelong friends from school, sports, my father and I had a small real estate business for over 20+ years here in Naperville. I believe in giving back to a community that has given me so much.
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: Yes our staff continued to provide services to our community and I am very proud their innovative thinking and delivery methods. Example of the staffs innovative why to continue to provide recreation services to the community is through a virtual platform. It was well received by the community and I am very proud of the staff to act so quickly.
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: One of the main items is to insure our triple A bond rating and continue to have the proper level of reserve to deal with a pandemic. Our financial team and directors did an excellent job delivering services and staying within budget. I would also work closely with our local medical experts and have an open dialogue about physical and metal health issues and how the park district can address those issues in a safe manner.
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 times?
A: A lot of our facilities were shutdown and remain shutdown. We have strived to open our facilities safely and services to fulfill our mission of health lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Q: How has the pandemic affected the park district's revenue? How has that been addressed on the expense side?
A: Our revenue has been affected the staff made the appropriate budget cuts, staff reductions still while providing services to the community -- they deserve a lot of praise. It is too early to tell however I believe we are in a better financial level than once forecasted this was made possible be the outstanding efforts of staff and proper financial management.