Business owner, Sage Telecommunications
Experience on nonprofit boards
Incumbent member of park district board, elected in 2006; treasurer, Tanoa Homeowners Association, eight years
BA in math, MBA in finance from Vanderbilt University
Married, two dogs
Length of residence in Evergreen/neighborhood you live in
In Evergreen 12 years, Tanoa
Why you are running for the park board.
I believe my business experience has been and will be beneficial — especially my background in finance, operations and safety.
What do you believe are the top three issues facing the park district board.
First are revenue and expenses. Our revenue is declining, and the decline will accelerate in the next few years. The recent (tax assessment) was based on 2008 values. So next year’s budget year 2011 will be based on 2009 values. The decrease in property tax revenue will be about 8 percent.
Problem is, I don’t believe revenue is in sync (with expenditures). Expenses will continue to increase as revenue declines.
Our scope of services is very broad. It stems from no local government. We have stepped outside of our boundaries. We are doing everything from plowing sidewalks (for NEAT, or North Evergreen Activity Trails) to taking care of the garden in downtown Evergreen to building renovation (namely Alderfer House, which isn’t owned by the district).
It feels good if revenue is increasing. If we have challenges, we will have to visit what scope of services we should provide.
The third (priority) is better communication with our residents. Our meetings are not well attended. I think it’s important for upcoming projects to get better awareness out in the community.
Were you in favor of conducting the recent feasibility study that was jointly funded by the park district and the Center for the Arts Evergreen? Why?
Yes. We had hired a land planner to help create a potential scenario for Buchanan Park. The next step was to do a feasibility study that ultimately had the impact of right-sizing the plan. Basically (the plan was) cut down by two-thirds. CAE did not influence the result. We had an independent company do that.
What is your opinion of the idea of building an arts center in Buchanan Park next to Buchanan Rec Center as a joint project of the park district and the CAE?
The option of having an adjoining facility is less expensive. That’s why you have a combination building. But because it’s a combination, we have to tackle funding and participation. (The question is) what should be district versus tenant (responsibility)? Should we split the cost of the shell? What about tenant finish? I don’t know (if we should build it).
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.
The board first serves the community as a whole and has a secondary responsibility to the adjoining neighbors. It’s similar to the Stagecoach Park. We found there was a general desire to have parks. Then we tried to work with the neighbors to have the least impact on them. It’s the same approach we are going to have with Buchanan. You have to look at a balance of both active and passive park activities. I would like to see fields not always oriented to sports groups. Trails and gardens were very high on the original survey. I don’t know whether we should put in a community center.
How do you see the role of the arts in a special recreation district?
Several boards ago EPRD recognized the arts as a passive form of recreation. Given the age of the community, I think it’s appropriate. Non-sweat activities are going to be more important. Evergreen is much different. We have a much older population, and we need to recognize that.
How much should the board decisions be governed by the results of the upcoming community survey to be completed this spring?
We decided on the survey almost four years ago. I think it’s going to be a wonderful way of getting input to the board. It’s going to be statistically relevant and good feedback. We’ll be able to hear from the majority. It’s going to be very broad and won’t give us the detail. But we will get a good cross-section of opinion.
What would you like to change, if anything, about the district and the way it is run?
My biggest theme is to create and implement consistent policies across the district, in safety and human resources, merit reviews, capital expenditures and (information technology). We have grown a lot and, our internal procedures are not up to date.
What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?
I think we need to have greater fiscal responsibility and transparency. We spend the taxpayer dollars. I think we need to be better stewards. Negotiations on director employment contract should be made public.
Open-ended statement of your choice.
Serving on the board is a responsibility, not a right. Good board members need to keep the interest of the general public in mind and not necessarily respond to a special interest group or a party who is in attendance at a given board meeting.