Community / Political experience: I am the current president of the Hollywood School PTA. I have served on the PTA board in the past as Recording Secretary and as Treasurer. I have been involved with the Hollywood PTA for the past seven years.
I also served on the Library Advisory Committee and worked on the Brookfield Library Community Survey. In addition, I have worked on the Friends of the Brookfield Library Taste of Brookfield fundraiser for the past two years.
Other / Professional experience: Before the birth of my daughter, I was a loan processor at a community bank. I handled commercial, mortgage and consumer loans.
Education: Attended Columbia College, Chicago
List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them: The Brookfield Library is a vital part of our community. Though currently in a fiscally healthy position, the Library is not immune to the current challenging economic climate. The interlibrary loan program, which has greatly expanded access to materials for Brookfield residents, is in the midst of recreating itself due to the state’s chronic financial problems and the forced merger of the northern Illinois library systems. The next Library Board will face navigating difficult economic conditions while balancing the needs and expectations of library patrons. As a Library Trustee, I will work to support the preservation of the interlibrary loan program and work with the Library Director and the Board of Trustees to seek out ways to maximize access to materials for our patrons. The Library is already participating in a program that provides extra copies of popular books and DVDs that are returned when demand drops. This is a smart way to meet patrons’ needs while conserving funds by not investing in multiple copies of the same item.
Our community is fortunate to have a robust Friends of the Library group, which has actively and successfully raised funds to provide the Library with many extras including computers, furnishings, and most recently an aquarium in the Youth Services area. As a Library Trustee, I will continue to work with and support the Friends of the Brookfield Library. Their advocacy work in support of the Library is invaluable and has helped make the library a better place for adults and youth.
One of the responsibilities of a Library Trustee is to promote and build community support for the Library and its mission to be an educational and cultural center that enriches the lives of our residents. Our Library offers so much more than books and DVDs. There are many programs available to patrons of all ages. As a Library Trustee, I will work to ensure that the Library can continue its mission to meet our residents’ needs despite the challenging economic climate and that it continues to offer the latest technologies. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the residents of Brookfield as a member of the Library Board.
Dianne L. Duner
Profession: Director of Curriculum and Instruction, LaGrange Highlands Public Schools (1970-2011, Retired) Consultant and Presenter in Gifted Education and Staff Development.
Community / Political experience: Library Trustee, Village of Brookfield,1999-2011, Board President for 4 Years, Member Friends of the Brookfield Library, Author and Manager of Goals 2000 Grant to improve reading and literacy in all areas of Lyons Township.
Other / Professional experience: Senior Reviewer for the Illinois State Board of Education in the area of school improvement, Member and co-chair of the Lyons Township Curriculum Council,
Award from IASB for Those Who Excel in the Practice of Public Education in Illinois,
Member American Library Association. Member Illinois Library Association, Member Public Library Association.
A.B.(summa) Clarke University, Dubuque, Iowa
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, National Louis University, Evanston, Illinois
Additional Post Graduate Studies, University of Illinois, Champaign,Il., Purdue University, LaFayette, In., University of Indiana, Bloomington, In.
List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them:
As a candidate for the library board, I see the following upcoming challenges for the Library…
1. Monitoring and protecting the continued fiscal health of the library; putting into place strategies that will weather the turbulent economic weather at the local, state and federal levels and pursuing efficiencies in operations and maintenance.
2. Ensuring the Library is meeting the reading, programming and technology needs of the residents by supplying easy and convenient access to the latest technologies and to the Internet in an effort to meet the information needs of users.
3. Continuing to engage and expand the Library’s advocacy groups to build long term support for the Library and its mission; by enlarging and highlighting the library’s visibility and participation in all organizations and activities that improve the image and quality of life in Brookfield.
Francis M. Torres
Profession: Real Estate Broker
Community / Political experience:
Brookfield Auxiliary Police Officer 2001-2003
Western Springs Auxiliary Police Officer 2001-2003
Brookfield Relay for Life/Sponsor Chair 2010-present
Brookfield Chamber of Commerce 2010-present
Other / Professional experience:
Real Estate Broker, Failla Realty 2000-present
Management Intern, Village of Thornton 2009-2010
Paraeducator, Park Junior High School 2008-2009
Bachelor of Arts, Criminal/Social Justice
Master of Arts, Organizational Leadership/Public Administration
List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them: The Library Board is doing well; nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. The most important challenge that the library faces is the need for space. The Library Board’s main goal is to build a new library or put an addition on the old one. The board was starting to work on a plan for a new library by buying property in the village. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the library was left with small parcel of land. With ten years real estate experience, I can help the library capitalize on their previous investment. I would like to assist the board on researching and writing grants to achieve the Brookfield Library’s main goal.
I would like to see more programs for the residences at the library from children to seniors. I would especially like to see programs for children and seniors who have disabilities.
I would like to offer some classes and tutoring for the children in the village.
Linda D. Stevanovich
Profession: Youth Services Associate at the Indian Prairie Library In Darian, IL
Community / Political experience:
Served as Village of Brookfield trustee for 8 years
Served as a founding member of the Recycling Committee (now Conservation comm.)
Other / Professional experience:
Worked as an Assistant Director for Berwyn Development Corp.
Main Street Director for Winfield, Il.
Employed as a Substitute Teacher
BA from Elmhurst College
Assoc. from Triton College
Graduated from Immaculate Heart of Mary High School
List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them: Insuring that tax dollars are spent in the most efficient way given the difficult economy. It is important to discuss options and not rush into ventures such as buying property without allowing public input, as was done with the house purchase and plans to build a new library. I believe the facility we have is adequate, we just need to use all space the best we can. I look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to this board, combined with my experience as a library employee and the knowledge of how government bodies function, I really believe I will be an asset to this facet of the community.
Profession: Senior Banker for the 4th largest bank in the nation
Education: Bachelors of Consumer Economics and Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Community / Political experience: Grew up in the area and moved to Brookfield immediately graduating college in 2005. Attends many local community events including Fourth of July Parades, local street fests, and going to town hall meetings. Also active within the Brookfield Business Community. Not affiliated with a political party in town. I believe that community is number 1 and that all aspects of local government need to learn how to work within a budget.
Other / Professional experience: Eagle Scout, Vice President of a local foundation called the JM Foundation which provides food and clothing to Brookfield families in need. The foundation focuses on feeding these families for over a month (www.thejmfoundation.com). Works with Gross school to find families in need. I am experienced when it comes to working with people, understanding what it takes to be successful with respect to running a business, handling people’s finances, negotiating, and most importantly staying within a budget. I have handled over 25 single family home renovations, manage apartment units, and am experienced in real estate.
List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them: The library board has some issues facing them.
The first problem is the library house. The board purchased this house on Arden Ave about 5 years ago with the idea of expanding the library and building a new one. This plan fell flat. The house was purchased for $400,000. It is now worth at least 25% less. The house sits vacant accumulating bills, taxes, and in need of repairs. We need someone who has experience in this field to take on this project and get it fixed up so the house can be leased out and the town can start earning money again. Right now, we the tax payers, are losing money every month on this because it just sits vacant. This is not the time to try to sell it as the market is depressed, however leasing it out is a viable option.
Another major issue with the board is library traffic. I would like to partner with the a local coffee shop and allow them to have a kiosk in the library serving coffee thus generating traffic and revenue for the library, the business, and the town. Also working more with the schools is a must.
Unfortunately, when towns need money, what they tend to do is raise user fees (stickers, permits, business license’s, etc) This is the wrong approach. Sometimes lowering costs generates more business and more income. Also what happens when towns need money is board members try to cut programs like fests, parks, and other nice community events. What towns really need to do is focus on where the bulk of our money is going to; which is salaries, pensions, and wasteful spending. Trying to cut the programs that make a community great (the library, sporting events, parks, fests) is not acceptable.
A library is an important community landmark and needs to remain affordable, accessible, and be up-to-date with current technology.
Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, we need to work on budgeting and spending wisely. If a private business went over there budget and spent more than they made, that business in turn would fail. However, within our government, we have started spending more than we take in. To counter act that we have seen our taxes go up over 40% in 5 years even with our property values losing 20% to 30%. Whenever the town is short money, in turn they raise our taxes.
We need experienced people within our government who truly know what it means to budget, negotiate, and see 30, 40, and 50 years down the road. We can’t have people who just only look in the current year. Many times what we implement now (although it may look good on paper) can have severe tax ramifications down the line. We need to work on cleaning up the aspects of all parts of our local government with people who understand finance and knowing what the residents are really feeling. We don’t have extra money lying around. Towns need to work within there budget. The Library Board is a great place to start for leading by example.