Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Wednesday Journal sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Previous political experience: None
Previous community experience:
An organizer of Bocce Bash for River Forest Parks Foundation, One of the organizers of River Forest’s Flamingo Friday
Occupation: Head Trader, Senior Vice President, Ariel Investments, LLC
Education: Bachelor of Science, Illinois State University, 1986
Why did you decide to run for a seat the park board? If you’re running for re-election, what do you see as unfinished business?
My soon-to-be college-bound kids have participated in many of the Park District’s programs over the years. The Park District offers great programing for kids but now as I am approaching my empty-nester years, it seems to me a great park district isn’t just for kids. I participated in the adult programs, made great friendships and have had a great time. While these programs work for me, i want to make sure all in the community have similar opportunities in programs that work for them. For example I have been asked by a number of people if the Park District can offer bridge classes. At the end of the day it is important that the Park District maximize its programing for all, not just children
What will be the top issues facing the River Forest Park Board in the next four years and how would you like to see those issues addressed?
One of the top issues facing the Park District is to add programing with limited facilities’ space. The Park District is preparing to survey residents on their programing preferences. Those results should be used to formulate a long term strategic plan that will guide the district for the next ten years.
The park district is expanding its platform tennis program, which has become popular. Are there any other programs that you can see following the same model? Do you have any issues with the park district investing money in programs that are then restricted to people who opt to pay a membership fee? How is that not essentially turning a public asset into a private club?
The question reflects a misunderstanding in the community regarding paddle. The platform tennis courts are open to the public except when being used for league play or lessons. This is no different than the baseball diamonds and soccer fields throughout the village that are open to the public expect when use by River Forest Youth Baseball and Softball, or River Forest Youth Soccer. The membership fees from paddle are use to pay the capital and operating expenses of the program.
In the past residents identified an indoor recreation facility as important, but the matter has been on the backburner. Is there a need to reopen that discussion? If not, why? If so, how might that happen?
The Park District will be surveying residents on their willingness to support the construction of an indoor recreational facility. If the results show there is inadequate support for this gym, as it has the last 2 times, the Park District should put the matter to rest.