Kim Kaeseberg: 2023 candidate for Streamwood park board
Age on Election Day: 56
Occupation: Assistant Business Services Manager
Employer: Hoffman Estates Park District
Previous offices held: None
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: My previous twenty-six-year front-line employment at the Streamwood Park District has given me a unique perspective of the park district's successes as well as areas in need of improvement. Relationships built by listening to and serving my community during my tenor allow me to understand what is not only appreciated by our community but where improvements can be made. I also realize there are many voices in our community that aren't being heard. These voices include the underserved demographics, such as our seniors and empty nesters, teens, our ethnically diverse families, as well as families with children with unique challenges. If elected I will make it my mission to work closely with the board, our Director Janda, and the staff to make sure their voices are not only heard but action is taken. Finally, it is my desire to be a good steward of our residents' tax dollars by providing excellent programs, green spaces and facilities that serve our community and its many visitors.
Q: How well is your district rebounding from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic? What new measures should be taken to strengthen programming or better meet the needs of the community?
A: The district as well as many other districts faced many of the same challenges, Zoom classes, masks, vaccine mandates, low attendance rates, and loss of staff. Having to rebuild from this has been a challenge. However, judging by the district's budget online and what I've been hearing while attending board meetings the past few months, Streamwood revenues in many of the program areas have risen back to pre-pandemic levels.
The Streamwood Park District is currently undergoing a strategic plan for the future, a much needed reset following the pandemic. We should continue to strengthen our workforce, staff should continue to work hard to expand programing, and look toward improving green spaces for community enjoyment. Pre pandemic there had been talk of rebranding, this could be a great opportunity for the future of our district.
Q: How would you describe the state of the district's finances? What challenges do you see on the horizon, and how do you propose to meet them?
A: According to the budget on the district's website the finances are in decent shape. There has been a lot of money spent in terms of capital over the past three years. Much of this appears to be on necessary projects such as LED Lighting, a much-needed renovation at the Community Center on Bartlett Rd., which included solar panels and the installation of an indoor soccer field. Park Place Family Recreation Center in Partnership with Rush Physical Therapy also received many interior updates including new Fitness equipment and the replacement of a broken RT unit.
Challenges the district will face will be regarding the capital budget review to see how much money can be used toward the property at 360 Schaumburg Rd. As well as other unforeseen projects that may arise in the near future. If elected I would work with board members, Executive Director Janda, and park district staff to navigate all projects.
Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your park board.
A: During my time at the Streamwood Park District I created and directed the Streamwood Stride 5/K, 10/K run. I formed a race committee that worked together to assign roles, set objectives, and create a budget. Later as Guest Services Coordinator for the Streamwood Park District, my job consisted of working together with managers and superintendents to set policy and train team members. Finally, I have prior experience working alongside board members and district staff on previous strategic planning committees. Each opportunity gave me insight on working with groups of individuals who have differing opinions. If I am passionate about a belief or objective, I am diplomatic in conveying my views. I listen, and above all look for opportunities to gain knowledge from other members of the team. If elected I look forward to collaborating with fellow board members to make decisions for the park district and its tax payers.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: For over 25 years the Streamwood Park District provided me with the opportunity to share our programs and facilities with members of our community. Lifelong friendships, generations of staff and their families who have worked at the Streamwood Park District, and neighbors new and old provide me with inspiration for seeking this position. I may not work at the Streamwood Park District any longer, but my passion for parks and recreation and the continued drive to serve my community makes me the best candidate for the job. If elected I look forward to working with the Streamwood Park District Board of Commissioners, its Director, Jeff Janda, park district staff, and other elected officials to provide the type of collaborative leadership and integrity that our resident tax payers deserve.