Should the Park District continue to purchase riverfront property for future use by Park District residents?
Not in the near future. Our community has too many taxes and fees.
Oswegoland’s growth has stopped, foreclosures are skyrocketing, unemployment is stubbornly high, and many seniors on fixed income cannot pay taxes.
Disregarding citizens’ plight, the OPD, paid $1 million/acre for perfectly good homes along the Adams St. riverfront. This is extremely wasteful spending.
Further, they paid up to 70 percent above market value for these homes, and, when challenged, stated to the presst hey know what’s best for us taxpayers. This arrogance must stop. These homes go off the tax rolls, and then incur demolition costs and perpetual maintenance costs.
As home values plummet, the Park District’s answer was to raise our 2011 tax levy by 7.8 percent. We are missing out on at least a hundred thousand dollars in property taxes from homes the Park District has taken off the tax rolls.
State Senator Chris Lauzen has introduced legislation to make it clear that no state OSLAD grant money can be used to buy habitable homes on the tax rolls.
In these difficult economic times, what more can the Park District do to decrease expenditures in its operating budget?
If elected, reducing operating and capital expenditures will be my top priority. OPD provides little information. Its website lacks detail, its annual report is self-applauding, and meeting minutes lack substance. Board meetings are without substance.
At $456 per resident, OPD spends twice the highest spender of 78 towns, and more than 3 times the Fox Valley PD. I have conducted countless cost savings reviews for not-for-profit and Fortune 500 companies in 35 years of management consulting. A rigorous process must be followed in order to preserve needed programs, while cutting wasteful spending.
The review would answer questions such as: Is this position, program, property, and/or activity needed? If so, can it be accomplished more efficiently internally, or by others? Valid input from the community will be part of the process, to preserve needed programs but to deliver them in a fiscally responsible manner.
Many parents complain of exorbitant OPD fees. We should bend over backward for our young children and senior citizens. They deserve to have a well-managed Park District that delivers excellent services, but with lower taxes and fees. I ask you to vote for Salvador Barocio and Roy White, who will join me in creating a lean but robust Park District.
If you’re elected/re-elected to the Park Board, what is one capital project you would like to see completed in your new term?
OPD’s 137 page budget gives no supporting detail. This is amazing, but is typical of a Board that has been in place too long in an environment of high growth, where money was readily available to spend. These Boards usually abdicate their fiduciary responsibilities to the Administration, whose goals are to spend as much money as they can.
Buried in OPD’s Operating Budget is its Capital Budget, which just lists projects and estimated cost. Examples: “Prairie Point. Community Park $734,423;” and, “Civic Center Building Improvement $194,000”.
I’m sure some of these projects are needed, but equally confident that fat can be trimmed from many. These projects total $1,872,443 which is a lot of money.
All projects would be included in the review outlined in the prior question. Projects that pass the test of being needed and efficiently planned would proceed. Some would proceed only after unneeded costs are cut.
To accomplish this pledge to you most quickly, we need to fill three Board seats with the three challengers: Barocio, Wass, and White. Please vote for us so that we can serve you, and your Park District needs better, and at lower cost.
- Position sought: Oswegoland Park District Commissioner
- Website: www.4OPDChange.com
- E-mail address: email@example.com
- Phone: 630-554-9386
- Address: 175 N. Adams St., Oswego
- Age: 68
- Family: Wife, two step-children, two grandchildren
- Education: U.S. Naval Academy, BS Mathematics & Engineering, 1964; University of Chicago, MBA Finance & International Business, 1971
- Occupation: Retired; Was a Senior Partner or Owner of a General Management Consulting Firm for 35 years. I was a Senior Partner and Practice Leader in very large firm for 22 years, and owned small firm for 13 years more after retirement from large Firm. My clients were CEOs and Board of Fortune 500 companies in the areas of Strategy, Governance, Organization, Business Operations, Management Audits, and Rightsizing/cost efficiency improvement.
- Political party affiliation: Park District Commissioner is a nonpartisan election. I have no party affiliation for that position.
- Previous elected offices: Precinct Committeeman, Oswego 10.
- Related experience: Served on, and consulted to, numerous Boards, including Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profit organizations, and industry trade associations. I have 35 years experience in this regard.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I researched publicly available documents and compared the Oswegoland Park District (OPD) to park districts locally and nationally. OPD was the top spender per resident of all Park Districts in the nation. Its staffing levels and staffing costs per resident are among the highest. OPD is also unique in being unable to pay its compensation costs from taxes collected. OPD was off scale everywhere I looked. I never imagined I would find such a mess in public records. It needs to be fixed.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
Cut wasteful spending, cut fees, and cut taxes while preserving programs, facilities andactivities that the voters need, want, and can be fiscally justified.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
The following combination of experiences: A) 35 years of management consulting to CEOs and Boards of Fortune 500 companies as well as not-for-profit organizations and trade associations. B) Heading a large portion of a mega-consulting firm for 22 years; C) Being CEO of my own consulting firm business for 13 years; and, D) Having served on several business and not-for-profit Boards myself over many years.
How long have you lived in the Park District?
What's your favorite thing about the Park District?
It has some programs and activities that are needed by and contribute to the community.These must be preserved, and managed in a fiscally responsible manner.
What is the biggest problem in the Park District?
Its Board, that has allowed our Park District to become one of the most costly local government organizations in the nation. Please see my and Sal Barocio’s website, www.4OPDChange.com and click on the slide presentation under ISSUES. You will seethe detailed, substantiated facts on the reckless and wasteful spending of the OPD. These facts are shocking, and distressing, especially under current economic conditions of high unemployment, record and sustained foreclosures, and rising food and energy prices.Taxpayers deserve better.
Editor's note Candidates were asked to abide by a 75-word guideline for each question.