RIVER FOREST Park District Board (2 open seats)

Mark Brown | Dennis Healy | Peter Kuzmich


Peter Kuzmich

candidate for 2019 River Forest Park District Board

1. What motivates you to seek this office? What skills, experiences, and perspectives would you bring to the Board of Trustees, and why would those contributions be valuable to the River Forest Park District?

I am motivated to serve and give back to my Community. I’ve lived in River Forest for 10 years and currently served on the Parks Board for 4 of them. I actively participate and use our Parks, along with my wife and 2 children. My kids have participated in various sports and programs as well. My career experience in business has taught me fiscal responsibility, a desire to get things done and a customer focused mentality which I bring to the Parks Board. My experience across all these areas will benefit River Forest.

2. What steps will you take to improve and expand community engagement with the Park District and the Board? What is your view on how local elected officials should communicate with and respond to constituents?

I try to get out and talk with people at Park events and activities as much as possible. I encourage people to attend our meetings and send communication to the board. We continue to send updates via social media, our guide books and via our website. We also continue to look for ways to improve our collaboration with the other Village boards to increase awareness of all our programs.

3. In what ways have you sought to better know and understand the concerns and needs of residents outside your demographic group (specifically the demographic groups of race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status)?

While currently serving on the Parks Board, we meet with other regional facilities to understand their challenges and successes. I’m also an alternate board member of West Suburban Special Recreation Association which has educated me on helping those with specialized needs. This in addition to getting out to meet with people at River Forest events helps me get first hand feedback from residents.

4. What purpose does the Park District serve in the River Forest community? What is your vision for the River Forest Park District?

The Parks district develops and maintains our Parks facilities and programs. My vision for the Parks District takes in the account the following guiding principles:

  • Fiscal responsibility

  • Maximizing our limited space

  • Progressive programming that benefits all residents

5. What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the Park District Board?

I hope that continue to bring a logical, thoughtful voice to the board that reflects the opinions of our Community and makes River Forest a great place to live.

6. What should be the role of the Park District in reducing and mitigating flooding, given the amount of green space under its jurisdiction?

Flooding and drainage are issues the Parks District takes seriously, we want to ensure we have playable facilities for our residents. The Parks District should be responsible for taking reasonable actions to ensure fields are draining to allow for maximum usage.

7. What can or should the Park District do to provide more unstructured/unscheduled access to its facilities? For example, should the District make things like basketball hoops available for unscheduled use?

Currently there is a high level of access to parks facilities for unstructured play. One challenge is that we don’t have our own indoor facility, so this limits what we can offer for a sport such as basketball. Our scheduling with the area schools is tightly coordinated to allow for practice times for teams, which doesn’t leave much remaining time for unstructured activities.

8. What is your position on adding artificial turf at Keystone and Centennial parks?

It’s complex issue that needs to take several factors into account. Currently the focus has been the softball and baseball fields at Keystone park. I want to continue to hear more from our Community, it’s been a regular agenda item at our meetings. We have met with several area park facilities their feedback on turf has been positive. Given the space constraints and our climate, I feel we should continue the discussion.

9. What are the opportunities and limitations of the Park District coordinating with the River Forest Community Center?

The largest opportunity with the Community Center is to utilize additional indoor space for programming and events. The limitation is there are existing programs in place at peaks times, making scheduling challenging. There are also fees we incur for using this space, and we always work to keep program costs at reasonable levels.

10. Please list the three largest donors to your campaign by dollar amount contributed.

I have no donors.

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[The above answers were supplied on 2/17/19. It may be possible to find more current financial information at the Illinois Sunshine website. Illinois Sunshine is also a useful resource for identifying past contributions by individuals to political candidates and committees in Illinois.]