2023 candidate for Naperville park board
Age on Election Day: 53
Occupation: IT Program Manager
Employer: Marsh McLennan
Previous offices held: Naperville Township Precinct Committeeman
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 main reason to run for this office is to continue to serve the Naperville community and keep the Park District a vital and important part of this city. I have two middle-school children who extensively utilize Park District programs, and I want to ensure the Park District remains well-managed as they grow up. The Park District does an excellent job, and I intend to keep it that way.
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 Naperville Park District has experienced a strong growth in demand for programming over the past year and anticipates further growth in 2023. While walking neighborhoods I hear the most demand for kid’s programming, especially in the winter months. People complain that sports such as basketball fill up only a minute after the start of registration. The Park District should look to add more programming of this type, and also look to creative solutions if more indoor space is required.
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: The district currently has no financial issues and retains the highest rating on its bonded debt. The key challenge the Park District faces going forward is inflation and increasing costs for products and services, including wages. The Park District needs to balance user fees vs. taxes to minimize tax increases, and needs to hold the line on spending.
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: I am currently on the Naperville Historic Preservation Commission, serving as Chairman, and I have experience working with Boards and Commissions to reach decisions on issues, occasionally contentious ones. I prefer to listen to everyone’s opinion and ensure all parties in the group are informed and prepared to contribute, then show leadership to reach a decision. Any action or decision reached by a Board I sit on will be extensively documented and researched to be effective.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I have extensive experience managing large-scale projects and programs. I also have an MBA in Finance and a background with financial management. I have served the community since 2015 with the Naperville Historic Preservation Commission, and have been involved with campaigns locally since 2008. I want to continue serving the community, including my children, who extensively utilize Naperville Park District Programs.