Editor's note: Candidate responses have been left unedited as they were sent in by the candidates.
Anthony J. Carballo
Lisle. I have lived in Lisle (Green Trails Subdivision) for 18 years. I am married and have three children (13, 16 and 18).
Business Litigation Attorney, Partner at Freeborn & Peters LLP
Juris Doctor from IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law (1986); Bachelor of Arts from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa (1983).
Incumbent on Lisle Park District Board of Commissioners
I have served as a Lisle Park District Commissioner from 2005 to present.
Involvement in other Boards, Organizations, Activities
I also currently serve on the board of the Lisle Convention and Visitors Bureau and am a member of the Lisle Area Chamber of Commerce.
Why am I running for a board position?
I have served on the Lisle Park District Board from 2005 to present. I enjoy serving the community and working with the other board members and our excellent park district staff. We have an excellent, effective board (headed by our president, Don Cook) and conscientious staff. Working collaboratively, the board and staff have accomplished a great deal for our community over the past several years. I would like to continue in this position to see some of our current and future projects through to completion.
My primary goals over the next few years are: (1) to continue to provide excellent staff, facilities and programs for our community; (2) to continue to maintain a balanced budget; (3) to complete the renovations to our newly purchased community center at 1925 Ohio Street; and (4) to utilize this new space to create more indoor programs for residents of all ages.
I am proud of our many accomplishments during the time I have served on the board, including:
* We conscientiously maintained a balanced budget every year since I have served on the board (2005 to present)
* We diligently completed the Park District's first Comprehensive Master Plan in 2006.
* We increased Community Park Fitness membership by 37% since 2006. We also increased Community Park Fitness net revenue 190% from 2008 to present.
* We remodeled the fitness center, front lobby and board room (which also functions as an exercise room) at the Community Center in a cost-effective manner.
* We earned the Park District Risk Management Accreditation.
* We increased Sea Lion Aquatic Park net revenue 109% from 2008 to present.
* Lisle Park District's program participation ranks 20% above the national average.
* Our staff and board are actively involved in the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association and several other associations and community groups.
* Our staff has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including the GFOA Excellence in Financial Accounting Award from 2005 to present, the Park District Risk Management Agency Loss Control Program Review Award from 2006 to present, and numerous IPRA Agency Showcase Awards (including awards for our excellent brochures, marketing and communications, web site design, electronic newsletters, and marketing pieces).
* We have excellent training programs for our staff, including our summer lifeguards at Sea Lion Aquatic Park. In fact, in 2008, our guards saved an elderly man who suffered a stroke while in the deep end of the pool. The guards responded immediately and performed the needed life saving techniques until the paramedics arrived on the scene. The paramedics were comfortable with our staff performing first aid and had them continue while their medical equipment was set up. The outcome was very good for this man and his family who were on the scene during the incident. In 2010, our guards saved a young girl who had a non-stereotypical seizure in the water during swim lessons. The guards perfectly performed the rescue with a very good outcome for the girl and her family.
* We have developed excellent working relationships and many cooperative efforts with other organizations and governmental entities including the surrounding park districts of Bolingbrook, Downers Grove and Woodridge, SEASPAR, Lisle Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Village of Lisle, Lisle Baseball Softball Inc., Benedictine University, Partners for Parks, Lisle Heritage Society, Lisle Area Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Lisle, Local School Districts 202 and 203, Eyes to the Skies, Character Alliance, Four Lakes of Lisle, Lisle Library, and numerous other local sponsors and volunteers.
* We have instituted numerous environmental initiatives over the past several years including shoe collection, crayon collection, cans and bottles collection, Abitibi Paper Retriever (since January 2008, over 53.5 tons of paper have been recycled), water bottles (provided to members of Community Park Fitness and summer campers to prevent disposable bottles from being used), and our seasonal brochure is printed with eco friendly, soy based ink.
* We have instituted many new fitness and fun programs for all ages, including an adult bags league, Caboose Club (a cooperative reading program with Lisle Library), Classic Soccer League, No Name Teen Camp, Chicago History Author Series (a free program offered at Lisle Station Park where local authors talk about recent publications with question/answer session), Cookies with Mrs. Claus, Softball Leagues, senior trips, mystery trips, dance programs, and free movies in the park and at the View Restaurant/River Bend Golf Course.
* We publish an excellent and informative seasonal brochure which is hand delivered to 14,000 households in the district, three times a year.
* We completed numerous park improvements including replacements of playgrounds, tennis courts, field improvements, garden plot expansions, and pathway renovations at Valley Forge Park, New Albany Park, Surrey Ridge Park, Surrey Ridge Athletic Complex, (including installation of ExerSkys circuit training equipment), Beau Bien Park, Oak Hill Park, Oak Hill South Park, Candlewood Park, Barkridge Park, River Road Park, College Road Park, Timber Park, and Community Park (including installation of ExerSkys circuit training equipment, shoreline restoration to areas of the pond, scoreboard installation at C7 for use by Lisle High School). We also made numerous improvements to the golf course restaurant and bar including installation of a new electronic sign.
* We recently completed construction of a beautiful new park, including two soccer fields, at Woodglen Park.
* We purchased a new community center building at 1925 Ohio Street which is adjacent to our Community Park property and will house administrative offices, preschool, active adults fitness and other indoor programming space.
What are the challenges facing the park district? What are the needs of the residents?
The park district has a limited budget so the board and staff have to be fiscally responsible and continue to develop alternative sources of revenue through our income producing properties, sponsorships and grants. The current board and staff have done a very effective job over the past several years in maintaining a balanced budget and in developing alternative sources of revenue.
The park district also needed more indoor programming space, and the board and staff are meeting this need in a fiscally responsible way through the recent purchase of the community center building at 1925 Ohio Street.
How do you react to petitions for subdivisions to leave the park district?
It disappoints me that certain residents of a subdivision in our community would attempt to disconnect from the Lisle Park District presumably to avoid paying their share of property taxes. First of all, it is my understanding that such a petition is legally improper. Moreover, I think it is unfair for them to attempt to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes and then shift the tax burden onto other residents in the community, especially when they and their children have enjoyed the benefits of the park district and its programs (including the preschool, Sea Lion Aquatic Park, and recreational soccer, baseball and basketball leagues to name a few) for many years. Furthermore, I think it is shortsighted on their part because the benefits these residents receive from the park district include increased property values as a result of being part of the park district. I understand that certain residents in this subdivision are frustrated over the arrival of Navistar in Lisle, but it seems to me that withdrawing from the park district will only lower their property values.
How do you think the park district fits into the community at large?
I think that the park district is an integral part of the community and is instrumental in making Lisle one of the best places to live. It is amazing that a small town like Lisle has 42 park sites, totaling close to 380 acres of land. In addition to the many beautiful parks, Lisle residents are lucky to have the award winning Sea Lion Aquatic Park, River Ben Golf Club, and centrally located Community Park. The park district also offers numerous fitness and fun recreational activities for residents of all ages.