Park Board Candidates View the Major Issues

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 21, 2007 | Go to article overview

Park Board Candidates View the Major Issues


Four candidates are running for three, 4-year terms on the Inverness Park District board. Incumbents Edward R. Vrablik and Thomas Donohue are running again, and are challenged by Chuck Pepe and Edward McGrath.

Donohue, appointed to the park board in 2005, is running for his first full term.

McGrath is president of Palatine Youth Baseball/Softball and coaches for various soccer teams.

Pepe was formerly active in PAFA football and the Palatine Celtic girls soccer program.

Vrablik won the Citizens for Conservation Miller Award in 2007.

Candidates were required to keep their answers to 150 words. Where they exceeded the limit their answer was cut at the end of the sentence where the 150th word fell.

Q. Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

Donohue: I am re-seeking the office of park board commissioner as I believe the experience gained over my past six years of service can benefit the park district. We are a young board. After this election at least five of the seven commissioners will have two years or less of service. My knowledge, leadership, and proven track record of accomplishment will help the park district become even better than it is today. The biggest issue facing the park district over the next four years is one of prioritizing and balancing short and long term goals in a fiscally responsible manner. By design, the North Park field house project depleted the capital expenditure budget. This leaves the board with the responsibility of saving for future major initiatives such as tennis court repaving, soccer field drainage, and additional parking while also maintaining existing facilities (i.e. wetlands renovation, walking paths, and baseball diamonds).

McGrath: I am motivated to run and serve as a park district commissioner because I believe in giving back. I have been a volunteer for a number of organizations over the years and believe in giving back and in serving. I have had the pleasure of coaching youth sports for nearly 30 years - I started in college. I find tremendous joy in working with youth and seeing them progress athletically and eventually as young adults. I am running because I believe the Inverness Park District is a way to continue my community service. I would not enter into service as commissioner with a single agenda or a specific focus on a single issue. My main priority will be to represent the residents of the Inverness Park District. One should represent the whole not a subset. I would work with the other commissioners and with the residents and staff to develop programs and services that serve the needs of all of the residents of our community.

Pepe: When I first decided to run, there were two open seats on the board. There is a better chance of having the Inverness residents' needs addressed if the board is full. The Inverness Park District has a lot to offer their residents. I think the board should not only address the immediate needs of the parks, such as youth programs and park design, including conservation, but it also needs to consider the questions of who is using the parks now, and who will be using them five years from now.

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