Full name: Douglas David Jones
What office are you seeking? Geneva Park District Commissioner
What is your political party: Democratic. This is a non-partisan position.
What is your current age? Fifty-five
Occupation and employer: 27+ years, in a variety of roles including Sales, Marketing and Operations Management at Molex LLC.
Education: 1985 Graduate of Geneva High School
1990 BA University of Wisconsin- Madison
1993 MS-Ed Northern Illinois University
Community involvement: No formal, public office experience. However, I have been an active part of the community, spending forty-four of my fifty-five years calling Geneva home. I worked for the Geneva Park District as a laborer and Baseball coach for several years in the Summer while home on college break. I have led a number of groups, volunteering, and laboring with Habitat for Humanity. Have also worked with foodbanks- Blessings in a Backpack, and Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Marital status/Immediate family: Married to my wife Susan for 28 years, and we have two children Emma (25) and Katherine (22).
Why are you running for office?
I have been a part of this incredible community for forty-four years. I am well established in my career, have two grown children. I now have a greater time and capacity to give back. In addition, I have lived in several different communities (job transfers to the San Francisco Bay area and the Indianapolis area). I have perspective on how other Park District’s spend their time and resources, as well as which items they place importance.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I am a long-time resident of the Community and understand the items that make Geneva a special place. Parks is one of those things. I have a particularly good history in the private sector of collaborating in teams of people to get things done. I am a highly accountable person. Further, I have been in leadership positions in business, with sports teams and in philanthropy. I will bring strong, sensible, and fiscally responsible guidance as a member of the Park Board.
What does your park district do well?
Protect, and preserve the open spaces which improve the quality of life for our town’s residents. The Park District has done a good job staying in front of the maintenance of the Parks, and updates Park equipment based on needs. Dryden Park upgrades (aka “Turtle Park”) is a particularly good example of this.
Are all constituents adequately served by the park district?
17% of the community is 65 or older- I would like to see more variety and additional programs available for our Seniors. Perhaps and overall survey to the community to understand the needs and wants of the GPD.
What would you like to see improved or changed?
Although forty-four of my fifty-five years have been spent in Geneva, I have lived in several other communities that had award winning Parks. I believe I can add a fresh perspective of what has worked at other parks, while keeping the continuity of what has worked, squarely intact.
Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?
Define an appropriate level! Nobody loves taxes except the people that are collecting them. If tax dollars are spent responsibly on items that better the community, reasonable citizens will gladly pay their fair share.
Would you support any plans to ask for a referendum proposition that would raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?
No. I would ask that there be full accountability on the tax dollars we currently provide, and if there is added revenue in taxes that the city is requesting, that request should be fully vetted with full purpose and disclosures. Perhaps a Gala or event to raise money for additional special projects would be of interest and benefit.
Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?
No. Increasing the local tax base with incoming businesses would help support new and on-going programs. Attracting new businesses with incentives and filling the empty State Street and 3rd Street buildings would be a great start.
What lessons should park district officials have learned from the pandemic?
CV-19 was an extremely complicated series of events. Decisions for the public good were made with the best possible information available at the time. However, the more we learned about the pandemic, the better information we had on methods to safeguard against the spread. Lessons I gathered were to be flexible, gather and understand facts based on the best scientific data, follow guidelines that were set by the CDC and communicate clearly to the public. Decisions made in a Pandemic are in place for the good of the whole.
What is your position on open, transparent government?
Absolutely. A Government of the people, by the people and for the people!
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
Yes! It is vital to a functioning democracy to have well informed citizens.