The Wednesday Journal sent questionnaires to each person running for public office in 2023. The Journal’s questions are in bold and the candidate’s responses are below.
Name: Lynn Libera
Previous Political Experience: Member, River Forest Park District Board of Commissioners, 6 years
Previous/Current Community Involvement: River Forest Tennis Club; multiple golf leagues including Oak Park Country Club; Park District’s Advisory Committee for Platform Tennis
Occupation: Retired from IBM
Education: B.S. in Biology
1. Why are you running for the board of the Park District of River Forest?
My interest is in continuing the work of the Board toward enriching our community through all that our parks, facilities and programs have to offer, both directly and in cooperation with other organizations. This includes the enjoyment of green space, recreational areas/facilities and programs that serve kids and adults throughout the stages of their lives; facilitating aging in place.
2. What experience and perspectives would you bring to the position and how would they be valuable as an elected official?
- I’ve served on the Park Board for the past 6 years, initially as a Commissioner, then Treasurer and now President. Broadly, we’ve become better organized, more transparent and nimbler, successfully managed through COVID.
- My longevity in the community, having raised a family here, and membership and participation in a variety of athletic and community organizations allow me to interact with a broad range and large number of residents. I’m in regular contact with people serving in leadership positions with the Village, Township, D90 and Community Center as well as Dominican University and Fenwick. Beyond that, I’m actively broadening my reach to further facilitate working cross-organizationally.
3. What do you believe are some of the greatest challenges facing the park district?
- With just 30 acres of park land, a fraction of the average typically allocated in a community of our size, balance of park amenities is a challenge. We work toward balancing open space and walking paths with playgrounds, sports fields, courts and facilities. The in-process redesign of Keystone for better use of space is an example of how we’re tackling this tactically. The Parks Master Planning effort currently underway is how we’re moving with this strategically.
- Another challenge mirroring limited park land is the very limited amount of indoor space. Considerable effort is expended to share gym space and still the amount and availability is overly limiting.
- The other dynamic requiring balance is meeting the needs of all age groups and abilities for recreation and program interests. We work toward balancing youth sports, activities and summer camps with adult sports, fitness and interests. As an example, we are replacing the Washington Commons playground equipment with the latest accessible equipment. Additionally, the upcoming community survey will help us direct attention to any new population dynamics and popularized sports and activities.