Joliet Park District Board of Commissioners candidate Bill Tatro submitted this questionnaire, answering The Herald-News' questions about the 2017 park board race.
Name: Bill Tatro
Address: 416 Fairlane Drive Joliet, IL 60435
Marital status: Married 42 years
Significant other: Le Ann
Profession: Retired Battalion Chief
Employer: City of Joliet Fire Department
Email address: email@example.com
Children: Lauren(Mark) Iwaszko (38) Adam Tatro(35)
Granddaughter Anna Maria Iwaszko(11)
Education: Joliet West High School, Joliet Junior College (Associate Arts), Western Illinois University (Bachelor Science), Lewis University (Bachelor Science)
Why are you running for the Joliet Park District Board of Commissioners?
I am running for Joliet Park District Commissioner because I enjoy being part of a board that works to bring services to the citizens of our community, especially our youth. I want to give back to the community where I have lived my entire life.
What are your qualifications to serve as a park board member?
As a lifelong resident of the Joliet Park District and a retired firefighter I feel I know the city of Joliet very well. I previously served on the Joliet Park District Board of Commissioners from 1997-2009, and I was president from 2005-2009. During this time the Joliet Park District undertook several major new construction projects including the Inwood Athletic Club, the Barber Oberwortmann Horticultural center, a new clubhouse at Woodruff Golf Course, just to name a few, and renovation projects at ATI field at Joliet Memorial Stadium and Birdhaven Greenhouse. In addition the board oversaw the maintenance of over 65 neighborhood parks. All this was done while under a very stringent tax cap. I was also part of the Board that brought back the “Taste of Joliet”.
My 31 years as experience as a firefighter has given me the ability to solve problems, by accepting input, analyzing that information and making a sound judgment based on fact.
What are the greatest challenges the district is facing in the coming years?
I feel that the greatest challenges for the Joliet Park District involve maintaining and updating the aging infrastructure while at the same time continuing to offer new and worthwhile programs for park district residents of all ages. It is important to realize that the park district now supplies equipment for and maintains over 75 neighborhood parks, and this brings in no revenue. Some programs operate at a profit while other programs, that many residents deem important, operate at a deficit. The challenge is to continue all worthwhile programs, offer new activities and programs while at the same time balancing the budget.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities?
First priority is to ensure that the 2014 referendum projects, including the Nowell Park Community Center, are completed in a timely manner and to the citizens’ satisfaction.
Second priority is to update and maintain an aging infrastructure within the allotted budget.
Third priority is to review existing facilities, programs and activities to ensure we are providing excellent service to all our citizens.