Full name: Julie Larson
What office are you seeking? Batavia Park District Commissioner
What is your political party? No Party Preference
What is your current age? 42
Occupation and employer: National Operations Manager, Eaton Corporation
Education: BA – Communication: University of Arizon
Community involvement: I am a supporter and coach in the Batavia Youth Baseball program. I actively participate in programs hosted by the BPS101 School District as well as Batavia Mother’s Club. I am also a member of the Batavia Moose Lodge 682.
Marital status/Immediate family: I have been married to Keith Larson for almost 11 years and we have 2 children…Ian (13) and Avery (8).
Why are you running for office?
Simply put…I love Batavia. I have lived in the downtown area since 2010 and think Batavia is a unique town that provides its residents with a variety of activities that takes advantage of everything this scenic town has to offer. I am passionate about investing in our parks and recreation as it is an important part of maintaining a healthy and growing community. Without a robust Park District, families like mine and yours would not have as many opportunities, and I am highly motivated to get more involved and continue to support the Park District programs that nurture our environment, kids, adults, and seniors alike.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I am an Operations Manager at Eaton Corporation and have had positions with increasing responsibility for 17 years. I am dedicated to success in everything I take on and that would be no different when I work with the Park District. I understand that the need for collaboration with other organizations that support Batavia (school district, city council etc) is vital and will benefit all residents. Decisions cannot be made in a vacuum - that is how I work in the corporate world and that is how I would work to serve the community as part of the Park District.
What does your park district do well?
Batavia Park District does an amazing job of reaching out to the community through listening tours and surveys to ensure that the programs/initiatives they have in place are on par with the needs and wants of the residents. While I love the annual events that the Park District provides (Windmill City Festival, Concerts in the Park etc), I am always looking through the Fun Guide to see what new and exciting programs they might have on deck each season.
Are all constituents adequately served by the park district?
Batavia Park District prides itself in having over 2,000 activities and programs for all ages and abilities. It has 400 acres and over 40 sites that cover every corner of the town, so many residents can partake in the advantages the Park District has to offer. I would add that Batavia is a community comprised of all economic backgrounds and it may benefit more constituents if alternate payment plans were a future possibility.
What would you like to see improved or changed?
While I do not have any major issues with the current Park District agenda, I would like to see a closer collaboration with the Batavia Youth Baseball (BYB) program to help maintain better ball fields. I would also like to see an expansion of the softball program and other sports that utilize the Park District spaces consistently.
Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?
The Park District accounts for about 6% of Batavia’s property taxes which I believe is appropriate for what they can provide to the community.
Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?
I believe in making decisions that are the best for the community. I anticipate my role on the Park District Commission would be to evaluate any proposals and consider the information gathered by our constituents to determine the cost/benefit of any changes to our community. I am not committed to raising or lowering taxes – I am committed to representing the best interests of Batavia.
What lessons should park district officials have learned from the pandemic?
I think the lessons that Park District officials learned from the pandemic were to be flexible and be ready to pivot on a dime. With many changes coming daily/weekly/monthly from the city and state regarding compliance regulations, officials had to be ready to make creative decisions quickly to stay relevant while still supporting the community.
What is your position on open, transparent government?
There is no accountability without transparency. It is imperative that our constituents are informed about activities with any publicly held office. So yes, I support an open and transparent government.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
Yes, I support the Freedom of Information Act.