Park and rec board candidate Casey

-A A +A
By Vicky Gits

Allan Casey


Business owner, Strategic Linkages Inc., business consulting

Election to political office

Evergreen Park and Recreation District board of directors (elected 2006 to present)

Experience on nonprofit boards

WildAgain Wildlife Rehabilitation Inc., vice president, (1993 to present)

Educational background

Southern Methodist University-Dallas, BBA in accounting and MBA

Family information

Married to Shirley; one cocker spaniel, Maggie

Age: 58

Length of residence in Evergreen/neighborhood you live in

The Ridge at Hiwan, 20 years

Why you are running for the park board?

I’ve been working on and off for the district for 10 years. I still think I have things to contribute. In 2000 I managed the first bond campaign for the Lutheran property on Buchanan. (Raising $3.5 million) We influenced the planning for Stagecoach Park. Chaired the Citizens for Parks committee to campaign for the bond that passed in 2005 raising $6.5 million (for Pfannenstiel property in Buchanan Park, synthetic-turf fields, Stagecoach Park, Wulf remodel).

What do you believe are the top three issues facing the park district board?

Fiscal management. I think we are putting in place a bloated cost structure that’s not sustainable long term. We have a lot of challenges on the revenue side of our income statement. We are putting in long-term costs and salary ranges that aren’t consistent with revenues. Better fiscal management is needed.

Two underserved constituencies should be better served, namely seniors and those in Indian Hills and Kittredge.

Third would be better oversight by the board of district activities. A couple of things have marginalized the board influence. We need to be a true governing board according to the statute. We aren’t just an advisory board.

Were you in favor of conducting the recent feasibility study that was jointly funded by the park district and the CAE? Why?

Yes. It was a next step that was approved in the Buchanan park master plan, which was unanimously approved by the board. So if you approve the plan, you approve the next steps, and we followed up on that.

What is your opinion of the idea of building an arts center in Buchanan Park next to the Buchanan Rec Center as a joint project of the park district and the CAE?

I’m in favor of a community center and arts center in Buchanan Park, which the feasibility study recommended. Probably where the admin office is, which was recommended by the master plan. A lot of time went into that recommendation.

What level of development, if any, is appropriate for Buchanan Park, and how do you feel about the concerns of the neighbors in The Trails and The Ridge?

I think the concerns we’re hearing are predictable. We heard the same (negative) things about Stagecoach Park, and now they love it. I think the whole Buchanan thing is a non-issue over this next four years. The district is not going to have any capital, and neither is the CAE. It would have to be a ballot question, and the entire community gets to vote on that. It won’t be up to the five people. The citizens will decide that.

How do you see the role of the arts in a special recreation district?

The EPRD has approved a policy that recognizes arts as a form of recreation. It’s in the last master plan. Until we change that we have to embrace that. It’s a form of recreation. For me to feel otherwise would violate the official position of the district. We deal with CAE the same way we deal with Stingers or any other nonprofit organization. Those subsidies are all over the board. We should have a standard methodology to decide how much we subsidize each group. It doesn’t make any sense to me. … I think we should set fees for different groups and be able to explain it. Now, there’s no rationale.

How much should the board decisions be governed by the results of the upcoming community survey to be completed this spring?

I think it’s one set of data the board should consider. I think the survey will give us another set of survey points. It won’t make any decisions.

What would you like to change, if anything, about the district and the way it is run?

I would establish a more informed way of how we set our fees and how we charge for things. Citizens now contribute about 42 cents of every dollar we spend. It’s just sort of evolved. We need a good review of what we are asking our constituents to pay through property taxes and user fees.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

A little closer oversight and more involvement. Some would say that’s micromanagement. That’s not what I’m saying. It’s about much more involvement in the fiscal issues and looking out three to four years. Our property tax revenue is going to go down, and the cost structure isn’t sustainable. We should be more involved in labor costs, which are 70 percent of all our costs. Salary increases (tend to) just go on forever.

Open ended statement. Your choice.

There are a few more things I’d like to accomplish.