Jim Cooke: 2023 candidate for St. Charles Park District board
Town: St. Charles
Age on Election Day: 69
Employer: Law Offices of James F. Cooke, Ltd.
Previous offices held: St. Charles Park Board Commissioner
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A: I do not have a particular issue that motivates me, but rather as a lifelong resident of St. Charles, I have a strong commitment for serving the Park District and the community. I try to consider the many issues across the spectrum of interests of our constituents.
Q: How well is your district rebounding from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic? What new measures should be taken to strengthen programming or better meet the needs of the community?
A: The St. Charles Park District is fortunate to have an excellent staff on virtually all levels, which staff tackled the challenges of the pandemic in a proactive and aggressive manner to allow the continuation of appropriate programming during the pandemic. The staff further budgeted for and anticipated many of the challenges that the pandemic presented. Now, as we are in a post-pandemic position, the transition is relatively seamless and our programs and facilities are returning to pre-pandemic levels. The staff and the Board are continuing to evaluate and anticipate the needs of our constituents and the demands of the economic environment.
Q: How would you describe the state of the district's finances? What challenges do you see on the horizon, and how do you propose to meet them?
A: I believe the St. Charles Park District's finances are in good shape since the staff and the Board work carefully to plan for the future and to create reserves in areas where necessary. I see no major challenges at this time.
Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your park board.
A: My practice is to research any issues and formulate opinions and positions that I believe are the most reasonable. When working with others, I try to listen to their respective positions and work with them to build a consensus among the board.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I believe my experience on the board, as well as my exposure and contacts in the St. Charles community, provide an excellent knowledge base from which to formulate opinions and positions on the various issues that confront the board.