(Vote for 1)The Forest Preserve District is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, which translates the open-space needs of county residents into ordinances designed to protect and enhance natural areas and support general operations.DuPage County contains six districts. Voters elect one commissioner from the district in which they live. The seventh member — the president — is elected by the county at large by popular vote. [source: https://www.dupageforest.org/our-board/board-commissioners]Salary: $75,000, PresidentSalary: $50,000, CommissionerSource: https://www.dupageforest.org/hubfs/About/Documents/Departments/2021-03-08-Elected-Officials-Compensation.pdf
I have served on the board for many years and have a wealth of knowledge about how the district works, grows and thrives. I have had many meetings about making sure there is open space and money in the budget to purchase land. I understand how important it is to develop time frames for projects to help determine budgeting and operational impacts to further the district's mission. I was also very involved in the restoration of Salt Creek during the project at the Preserve. There are two projects right now that I am heavily involved in: Swift Prairie Habitat Restoration and Cricket Creek.
In my opinion, the major challenge facing my constituents will be financial. Everything is going up by a huge percentage. In every district, we have preserves within a few miles of the residents so they don't have to worry about traveling a great distance to get to one of our preserves. I feel our preserves can take some of the stress off of families who are looking to enjoy fun activities such as hiking, biking, camping, fishing, boating, education programs and numerous other activities. They can enjoy a fun weekend without any added monetary stress. They can even bring their furry feline friend to one of our dog parks.
We have had over 6 million visitors in 2021. We are stewarts in public funds and I take this responsibility very seriously. It is my goal to keep our AAA bond rating. It helps us receive a low rate on the purchase of bonds. Another goal is to not raise property taxes and to keep our levy flat. To keep the public informed of our activities and programs. I want to continue purchasing land, and remove aggressive plant species that threaten native plants and wildlife. If we don't continue to remove the invasive species our native plants and animals will decline. Continuing to keep safety as a number one concern in our DuPage County Forest Preserves so our residents feel safe when using our preserves and many programs.
Board President Dan Hebreard completed a Master Plan in 2019 listing 6 goals and 5 align with my life experiences of building bridges.
A brief biography outlining those experiences. My wife Barbara and I have lived in Roselle for 36 years. We have 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren. We are actively involved in community life. As a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, I served as an elder, on the Caring and Social Service ministry, and taught. ESL. Also, I volunteered with Exodus World Service helping refugees acclimate to life in DuPage County and taught U.S citizenship classes. I was elected twice to the Roselle District 12 School Board and worked on the successful Bloomingdale and Milton Township 708 Board Mental Health referendum committees. Currently, I am a member of the DuPage County Health Department Prevention and Leadership Team and serve on the employment Committee for Ray Graham Association. In my professional career, I worked in the construction industry
Major challenges facing many constituents are balancing the budget, coping with the stresses of modern life, and maintaining a healthy and safe environment for current and future generations
To address these issues, I will ensure budgets are balanced without raising taxes, maintain and upgrade current facilities, and expand and encourage new no cost or low-cost options for recreation, education, and family fun. To address environmental issues, the Forest Preserve must utilize the most current environmental practices for stormwater, landfills as well as restoration of natural areas. In addition, The Forest Preserves also is a leader in the use of alternative energy, and I will work to make sure those practices expand.
My main goal as your Forest Preserve Commissioner are:
Ensure the DuPage County Forest Preserves District has a balanced and responsible budget without raising taxes.
Enable the Forest Preserve to expand relationships with school districts, garden clubs, park districts and other organizations. .
Encourage more family friendly events and facilities to allow citizens to fully enjoy our forest preserves.
I look forward to serving my neighbors in Forest Preserve District One and working for these goals!