Thank you for your support. My last race was a tough one. There were dozens of mailers and it got pretty nasty. In the end we lost the State Rep seat by a couple percent. It was almost enough to sour me on running for office for good.
But then something happened on the Park Board, where I serve as the current board president, that convinced me to run again. We had been discussing this year's budget and tax levy. I had been making the argument that in light of our million dollar surplus last year, plus over three million in grants and endowments coming, we didn't need to raise taxes. I had the majority of the board in agreement. Then my wife and I took our four kids to Disney World. While I was gone the board met and voted 4-2 to increase taxes the maximum amount allowed by law. I couldn't believe it. When I returned I immediately put a motion on the table to reduce the levy back to a zero increase for the second year in a row, made the argument, and the motion passed 5-2.
When I saw what could happen when I was gone, I decided I should try to stay. There is still plenty of work that needs to be done. We need to oversee the big projects so that come in successfully and within budget. We should continue to grow park district use. The more people who use our programs, the less expensive they are for all of us. And we need to keep the taxes low, by keeping expenses under control while maintaining our current practice of bringing in more revenue through programs than we do via property taxes.