Vince Spaeth: Candidate profile.
Name: Vince Spaeth
City: Elmhurst, IL
Office sought: Park Board of Commissioner
Age: 59, Part of Elmhurst since 1963
Family: Joann (Wife), Michael, Olivia, Grant
Occupation: Executive Director -- Corporate Sales, ChemTreat Inc.
Education: BS Chemical Engineering University of Wisconsin -- Madison
Civic involvement: Elmhurst Heritage Museum Board 5 years, Coaching YMCA Football 4 years, Coaching Youth League Basketball 2 years, Coaching Little League Baseball 2 years
Previous elected offices held: Elmhurst Park District Board (2) terms prior, Elmhurst Heritage Museum Board (Appointed by the Mayor)
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Elected in 2007 and 2013 for six year terms each
What are the most important issues facing your park district and how do you intend to address them?
Based upon community input from the District's "Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan", the residents desire to add several major capital based projects. The major projects involve acquiring land and operating a major indoor sports complex, dog park and senior center. Payment to help fund upfront capital for these facilities will potentially require the passing of a referendum while operating fees and debt reinvestment will minimize the impact and additional taxes paid by the community. The district has hired consulting firms to help obtain residential input and direction and how to go about confirming support for these facilities and a referendum. It's is very important to the Board of Directors to have the projects community driven and supported.
If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for the park board? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.
As an incumbent, I am proud of the following major initiatives:
1. Rebuilt every major park and pool
2. Saved and redeveloped Wilder Mansion to become a Park District Entertainment Facility
3. Worked with the City of Elmhurst on Intergovernmental Agreements
a. Joint Equipment Maintenance and Storage Garage in south Elmhurst renewal
b. Storm Water Detention sites within two major parks
c. Redevelopment of a new fire station within York Commons Park
d. Supporting the City of Elmhurst's new TIFF Districts for redevelopment
4. Intergovernmental Agreement with Elmhurst College
a. Berens Park Synthetic Turf
5. Intergovernmental Agreement with other local communities for the completion of the "Salt Creek Greenway Trail" that connects a 25 mile-long pedestrian/bicycle trail through several communities.
6. Purchase of additional land that is additive to existing parks (Marjorie Davis Park, Henry Glos Park, East End Park, Berens Park)
7. The "Playground for Everyone" at Butterfield Park -- Is the first fully-inclusive playground in the county that allows all children to play regardless of age or capabilities
8. Historic Wilder Park Conservatory Restoration with $1.84 million grant
9. Elmhurst Park District awarded the IAPD "Distinguished Park and Recreation Accredited Agency Award"
10. Served as Board President for 3 years
Which programs aren't paying for themselves? Would you keep, eliminate or change them? How and why?
The pools are the largest programs that are subsidized by the district. It is not uncommon for park districts to use a combination of use fees and tax dollars to pay for these facilities. The pools are highly utilized and enjoyed by the community. Overall, the District does a great job developing revenues to offset other operating costs -- which ultimately lowers the communities taxes to only 40% of the revenue needed to operate the District. Also, each of the 20 major parks are rebuilt (one major park per year) by using existing funds. This keeps all of Elmhurst's major facilities up to date and in excellent condition. The Elmhurst Park District was just recognized by the Illinois Association of Park Districts and awarded the "Distinguished Park and Recreation Accredited Agency Award" for the third time for its "Provision of high quality leisure services and recreational facilities for the residents of the Elmhurst Park District". Within the State of Illinois, only a handful of Park Districts are recognized with this level of operating performance and satisfaction to their community.
Is there any additional open space the park district needs to acquire? Please describe.
Yes, there is a strong desire by the community for a major indoor sports complex that would require 10-15 acres. During the past few years, additional property has also been acquired (5-6 acres) for potential use as a Senior Center and Dog Park. All of these purchases have been driven by community input from the District's "Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan". Land acquisition is very important in a land locked community that has a shortage of acreage dedicated to community recreation and fun.
Are there any unmet recreational needs? If yes, what are they and how would you propose paying for them?
Yes, an indoor sports complex (hard courts for basketball/volleyball/pickle ball; synthetic turf for soccer; indoor walking track), Senior Center and dog park would be largely paid for through operating fees, service revenue and reallocation of present tax revenues as old debt is paid down. This will keep tax payer increases from a referendum to a moderate while adding major additional facilities and enjoyment to the community.