Gerald M. Dombrowski

Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Wednesday Journal sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.

Age: 52

Previous political experience: None.

Previous community experience:  Commissioner, River Forest Zoning Board of Appeals, 2016 to present

Occupation: Attorney (Partner: Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP, Chicago, IL)

Education: J.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law (1992)

B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (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?

I believe the River Forest Park District is generally a well-run organization and I would like to continue to see the parks improve. We can run the parks in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner. I also would like to see the parks throughout the system be cleaner-more garbage cans and more cleanup runs. 

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?

The next big project down the road appears to be the Depot Addition project proposed between Thatcher and Keystone.  I would oppose that project as being too expensive and geographically misplaced. I would not oppose a gymnasium if the location and cost made sense.

I would also be open to a turf field in one of the River Forest parks to accommodate various athletic teams.

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?  

I don’t foresee any other programs following this model. However, I do not have an issue with how the program is run as long as it remains entirely open to the public. Almost all programs have fees; they are just not called “membership” fees.

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?   

I don’t think there is any need at this point to reopen that discussion. If a better location is offered down the road, I would be open to that discussion. The cost of that project is also very high.

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