Candidate Name: Nathan Wilson
Office Seeking: Park District Board of Commissioners
Campaign Website: wilsonfornaperville.com
Closest Park: Ashbury Park
Occupation and/or Professional Training: Senior Software Engineer
How long in years have you been a Naperville resident? A little over 8 years
Community Service on Boards and Commissions with dates served:
Contributor to Open Source Software, Volunteer Coach
The following answers have only been edited for formatting purposes.
1. Why are you running to serve the Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners?
Having kids that participate in various programs and activities as well as having a background in finance I would like to ensure that the Park District listens to the taxpayers’ desires while being a good steward of our tax dollars. This past year has been particularly problematic for people economically and I would like to help keep our property taxes as low as possible while still providing a great service.
2. What is the park district’s most pressing need?
The Park District’s most pressing need I think is ensuring that taxes are kept low, especially given the economic downturn due to Covid this past year. The Park District has done a great job keeping the average property tax flat for the budget this year and I would like to help keep it low as well while maintaining the Award Winning Services the Park District provides.
3. What’s the best way to engage the community while planning Capital Projects?
I believe the best way to engage the community while planning Capital Projects is to survey the citizens via email, physical mail, and phone in different parts of the community in order to provide an accurate sampling.
4. Name three park district policies that need review or immediate attention.
The Park District policies that could be reviewed are promoting public private partnerships with businesses, open meetings such that they are live, and open bidding on contracts.
5. How often are you in touch with members of the current park board? And do you attend/watch park board meetings live or after they’re saved in the archive?
I have been in touch with various board members monthly in order to gain a better understanding of the process of project approval and budgets that the Park District reviews. Yes, I either watch the Park Board meetings live or after they’ve been saved (they’re uploaded to YouTube if one wants to subscribe).
6. What up-and-coming City of Naperville development will impact park district funding/planning the most? As a board member, where would you look to make budget adjustments?
An up-and-coming City of Naperville development that will impact park district funding/planning most I think isn’t necessarily a City of Naperville project, but Phase 2 of the 95th Street Community Plaza. South Naperville has and continues to grow and the Park District has used a good bidding process to fund the project but it also consumes a large portion of the budget.
7. What’s the best way to communicate landscape changes such as the Park Meadow Plan to neighboring residents?
I think the best way to communicate landscape changes such as the Park Meadow Plan is via email, mail, and/or phone. As far as I know, people have responded to the Park Meadow Plan as well as the Buttonwood Park Project.
8. What new use, if any, do you imagine for the facility known as the Riverwalk Café?
The Riverwalk Cafe, as far as I’m aware is unfortunately not a revenue producing entity. That being said, it’s a great facility that many people aren’t aware of. So, I think the Park District could promote it more, especially as more people are out as the weather gets better/warmer.
9. What’s your favorite Naperville Park District park or facility?
A couple of my favorite Naperville Park District parks are Ashbury Park as it’s close to home and we’ve done many activities. I also really like Rotary Hill as it has recently hosted the Field of Honor as a tribute to Veterans.
10. When was the last time you read the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?
The last time I’ve read the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights was last month as I was reading Great Books of the Western World Volume 43. The U.S Constitution is in that book and I followed up on the Bill of Rights after.
11. What recreational need is missing in Naperville that could be proposed/provided/funded by the Naperville Park District?
A recreational need that is missing that could be proposed is additional trail paths used for walking/running/biking. This has come up in previous community surveys and could be revisited to see what, if any, demand there is.
12. What’s the best way to address differences of opinion among board members or between the board and park district administration?
I think the best way to address differences of opinion among board members or between the board and administration is to try to evaluate trade-offs and try to come up with a compromise. I do think we need to align with the demands of the taxpayers so hopefully there aren’t too many contentious disagreements.
13. Share a childhood memory that features a visit to a park! (Please include city and state)
One of my favorite childhood memories of visiting a park is playing “pickup” baseball or football games at a local field. Doing so really helped me develop a desire to be outdoors while creating a competitive attitude.
Anything else you’d like to add?