Joliet Park District Board of Commissioners candidate Sue Gulas submitted this questionnaire, answering The Herald-News' questions about the 2017 park board race.
Name: Sue Gulas
Political party: non-partisan
Address: 1015 Kerry Lane - Joliet
Marital status: Married to Jim for 30 years
Profession: Currently I work part-time at Paolucci Diamond Center. However - I was a full-time Travel agent for over 25 years and I was an event planner for 5 years (USF Caritas Ball coordinator)
Employer: Paolucci Diamond Center
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: none - Facebook Page: Sue Gulas for Joliet Park Board
Children: Jenny (23) Graduate of JCA and University of Illinois and Nick (20) Graduate of JCA and currently a Junior at Indiana University Kelley School of Business
Education: St. Francis Academy Class of 81 (I began my career as a Travel Agent immediately following high school graduation)
Why are you running for the Joliet Park District Board of Commissioners?
I don't want to leave the board with unfinished referendum projects. As the current President of the board, I have been a part of many exciting things that have happened already at the Joliet Park District and there is more to come for the community in the future. When the referendum was passed by the voters in 2014 at an overwhelming 70% approval, we got to work immediately. We began knocking out our check list of improvements and upgrades at parks, golf courses and facilities district wide as part of the referendum project undertaking. To date, many of the projects are complete, some are in progress and others are in the beginning stages. To put it bluntly - I don't want to walk away from unfinished business. I was on the board at the beginning and I want to be on the board when the projects are complete.
What are your qualifications to serve as a park board member?
I have served on the board for a full term (4 years) and I am the current President.
What are the greatest challenges the district is facing in the coming years?
The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is the increasing of the property tax base NOT keeping up with increases in personnel related costs (salaries/health insurance) and increasing operational costs. In addition, the potential of a multiple year property tax freeze handed down by the State legislature could extremely limit our ability to stay competitive in the future. Also, the aging of our facilities with limited funds to maintain and replace them causes an additional budget burden.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities?
Completing the list of referendum projects, further developing the Grove Road parcel purchased in 2014 and planning for the future of the district's many aging facilities