Glen Ellyn Park District Board Election: Julia Nephew
Learn more about the candidates seeking a seat on the Glen Ellyn Park District Board.
Glen Ellyn Park District Commissioner
Campaign Contact Information:
As I am running unopposed in this election I do not have a campaign website, address, or telephone number.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
I would like to see an even greater emphasis on greening the park district. Some examples are new tree plantings (for example, to replace ash trees), flood mitigation measures such as permeable pavers for parking lots, native species plantings, and less mowing. All these changes will save an enormous amount of money well into the future.
Your Home Address:
Eric Bergman, husband
University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998, PhD
Dominican University, 2010, 2012, MLIS and Archives Certificate
Current Occupation and Employer:
Political Party Affiliation:
This is a non-partisan election.
Why Are You Seeking Office?
I ran for office in 2009 to bring fiscal responsibility, transparency, and communication with the residents and I have helped the park district realize these goals. The operating budgets have been balanced since 2011, board meeting are broadcast live and archived through the website, a serious survey was conducted, and residents are invited and encouraged to take part in decisions. The new executive director, Dave Harris, has worked hard with staff to implement the Board’s goals. I want to continue this work.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
My fellow commissioners and I work well together as a group but have strong individual opinions. I want to lower fees, provide more free events and more scholarships so that Glen Ellyn children can develop healthy fitness lifestyles. Park districts must be committed to seriously combating the obesity epidemic in our society. If families who cannot afford sport and fitness classes and sports teams for their children do not find help from the park district, we have failed. The poor health of our residents negatively impacts all of us.
Issue 1: The Park District has plans for renovations and updates at Lake Ellyn Park. The projects will cost a significant amount of money. Do you agree with the proposed updates? And, if so, what are your thoughts on how the park district might pay for the proposed upgrades?
The Lake Ellyn Master Plan envisions the next few decades of improvements at Lake Ellyn Park, not a one year capital project. It is a thoughtful plan to make improvements over time within an organized framework instead of haphazardly. This park is one of the most loved and important treasures of our community and needs protection and thoughtful stewardship. For example, the root systems of the ancient trees must be protected or we will lose a great asset in our village. The recreation boat house should be restored to its original beauty.
Issue 2: How can the Park District continue to offer a variety of programs to the public while maintaining a balanced budget?
The other commissioners and I are focused on maintaining the parks and facilities we have. There has been a lot of new construction since 2000 and those facilities must be maintained. The Citizens Finance Committee we helped to recruit in 2011 examined the district’s finances from a business perspective and the Board is working to balance those suggestions with what the community wants and needs.
Issue 3: What programs would you suggest the park district add, change or end? And, why?
The Park District welcomes ideas and suggestions about new programs. We have added Lacrosse, basketball, and others. Enrollment and costs drive decisions about offerings and changes. Recreation programs must be cost effective but I believe more should be offered that middle and lower income residents can afford. Many programs can take in more participants without costing more.
Please add any other information pertinent to your campaign.
The Glen Ellyn Park District conducted a resident survey in fall 2013. This was a comprehensive study by a very reputable company and the return rate was excellent. The results are complex and extensive and they will be immensely useful in the next few years when the Board and staff make budgetary decisions. I am committed to listening to residents and working to balance our expenses with the needs and desires expressed in surveys like this. I have pushed hard to ask hard questions and examine our assumptions so that we can provide the best service and programs to the community.