Bachelor's Degree, Accounting, NIU
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I have worked in the accounting and finance fields professionally for 23 years. I currently work as the VP of Finance for a consulting firm in Schaumburg. I work with many companies of all sizes to help them manage their risk and understand the financial implications of the insurance decisions that they face. In the last 6 years I have served on the school board with the last 4 as finance chair. I have a solid understanding of the challenges faced by our school district and our community.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
In the last 6 years, our district has worked hard to improve the quality of education that our students receive in a fiscally responsible manner. We have avoided any deficit spending while doing all this. Yet, this is not enough. In these difficult times, we will continue to be challenged to make sure that we constantly improve the level of education without being fiscally irresponsible. Poor performing schools are a long term threat to the value of our community, whereas high performing schools can be a tremendous asset to that value. Protecting and improving the value of our homes and community through the consistent improvement in the education quality of our schools is the obligation and duty of the BOE and the largest priority that I have.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
No. Not with the current political structure in place. School boards are limited in what they can levy by what Springfield has enacted. This limited flexibility in both good times and bad, forces districts to collect what they can when they can. Any freezes in the levy become permanent revenue losses that compound each year into the future. We then run the risk of running deficits which will diminish the level of education for the students, reduce the value of the district to the community and ultimately further reduce the value of peoples homes. It is a short term fix that creates a longer term problem. Couple this with the budget issues that Springfield faces. Currently, D15 receives about 12% of its budget from the state. This makes us a “donor district” as more of our state income tax goes out of the district than comes back. These payments are typically 2 quarters late in arriving. The state, due to their budget and pension mess, is threatening to place even a greater burden on the local districts. When (not if) this happens, our district will increase the level of donation that we make to the other districts in the state and face revenue shortfall. Creating a further revenue shortfall by freezing our levy just compounds the problem our district would face.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
In the past 6 years I have been pleased with the decisions that the board has made.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
The increase to the teachers school year to improve their teaching skills and integration across the district will have the great impact on the educational quality of the district. It is a longer term investment and though we are seeing positive results in the short term, I anticipate that this will really be of value in the long term in ways that we don’t even realize yet.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I have grown up in this community and benefited from the education that I received in our district. This is my home. I believe that I have an obligation to my hometown to work to give the children in our community even better opportunities than I received while keeping the cost affordable to the members of our community. We should continue to strive to be the destination school district in our county. We should do so while continuing to not run financial deficits and being fiscally responsible. The long term benefits to our kids, our home values and our community are tremendous and can only help to better us all. This is my home and my hometown. Anything less sells us short.
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