Jim Cooke, St. Charles Park Board Commissioner election questionnaire

Election 2024

Full name: Jim Cooke

What office are you seeking? St. Charles Park Board Commissioner

What is your political party? nonpartisan

What is your current age? 69

Occupation and employer: Attorney – Law Offices of James F. Cooke, Ltd

City: St. Charles

Campaign website: jimcookelaw.com

Education: Knox College, BA; Chicago Kent College of Law, JD

Community involvement: Kane County Historic Preservation Commission, St. Charles Park Foundation, Community Contacts, Inc.

Marital status/Immediate family: Married with three college age children

Why are you running for office?

As a life-long resident of St. Charles, I have a strong commitment for serving the Park District and the community.

What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?

Through the years, my family and I have been involved with many of the Park District’s programs, ranging from pre-school to nature education, athletic programs and other activities. As a result of these experiences, I have been able to integrate a “hands on” understanding of the workings of the Park District, with the governance of the Board and the needs of the community.

What does your park district do well?

I believe the Park District is responsive to the community in offering programs and facilities for all of our constituents and most importantly, addressing and anticipating the changing demands of its constituents.

Are all constituents adequately served by the park district?

The Park District staff and Board are always striving to serve all the constituents and are committed to doing their best to achieve that goal.

What would you like to see improved or changed?

Although the Park District is always working to improve its programs, facilities and outreach to its constituents, it must continue to be responsive to the community.

Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?

No one likes to pay taxes, but the Park District is very careful and takes its fiscal obligations very seriously.

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?

Not at this time.

Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?

None at this time.

What lessons should park district officials have learned from the pandemic?

During the pandemic, the importance of our parks for outdoor recreation was powerfully recognized. The Park District staff also adapted its programs to allow community members to continue participating during the pandemic wherever possible.

What is your position on open, transparent government?

It is absolutely necessary – a legal and moral mandate.

Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?