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Christopher Paul Barclay
Geoffrey Louis Barclay
Kaitlin Elizabeth Barclay
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I believe I have extensive experience that makes me a good candidate for the office of Geneva Library Board Trustee. I have served 2 1/2 terms on the Library Board. Currently I am the President of the Board and have been for 8 years. While this alone is not a reason for me to be qualified for the seat I do believe that my experience and knowledge of the Library, our successes and failures, our goals and achievements play a vital role in my qualifications to serve. I believe that anytime you run and serve on a Board you should be passionate about the contribution of that organization to the community. I believe that the Library plays a significant role in Geneva. We touch all ages and people in all stages of life. From the very young to the very old. I see our part in the community evolving. I stay active in the community in many ways which allows me to bring the voice of many residents to the Board. I have knowledge and experience directly related to the Library in regards to technology, space needs, planning for the future, hiring a new Director and community involvement. I pride myself in my commitment to making myself available to our patrons. I think every comment or concern is valuable to our success in providing services the patron expect. I am committed and enthusiastic about serving the Library for another 4 years.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
I believe my three priorities would be: First, to focus on maintaining the services our patrons expect and deserve while being conscious of the tax dollars we are entrusted with. The Geneva Library patrons have very high expectations for the Library and I believe it is vitally important to do all we can to maintain those services. Second, I believe we need to stay focused on the future. We need to plan for what the Library will be. The Library has been a pivotal part of the community for over 100 years and that is not going to change. The Library has proven itself as a living evolving entity within our community. We are aware technology is changing quickly and it is imperative we stay in tune with the changes and prepare for it. It is important to remember that the Library is not a warehouse for books. It is a place to share information regardless of the format that information is in. And lastly I believe we must begin the planning stages for a new Library. This is an opportunity to engage our community in what their vision for the Library should be. We have the time to research a Library that will provide the services for the District for the next 100 years. Gratefully we aren’t in a rush and that provides us with the opportunity to make the most of the planning stage for the new facility.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
I am proud of the fact that the Library District is one of the taxing Districts that has in fact lowered its levy for the past two years. I as a Board member take very seriously our responsibility to the tax payers and how we spend our tax dollars. So as one of the Board members (we were unanimous) who supported the reduction in the levy I would say yes. There was a great deal of discussion regarding the reduction of the levy. We committed to trying to help the tax payers by doing our part to reduce the property taxes. We have also worked hard to streamline the way we plan and implement our budget. By going to a zero based budget, we have been able to find ways to reduce the spending within the Library. I believe we as a Board focus on spending money wisely. I am very proud of our success. The key to reducing the levy and working on cost control of course is to be able to maintain the services our Library patrons require. I think that is a key point to make. While reducing our levy we were able to maintain our services.
What one decision by the board do you most disagree with and why?
I have to say that as a Board we work well together and through the decision process there is a lot of give and take of ideas and opinions. I can’t honestly think of one decision as a Board that we have made where I feel I disagree with the final decision.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
I am very proud of many of the achievements of our Board so to pick one is very difficult. While I believe being able to lower the levy was of extreme importance in light of where we are today economically, I have to say that I feel the signing of the contract to purchase property for a Library of the future was our greatest achievement in the last year. Geneva has a long history of being able to plan for the future even during hard times. Through war as well as economic hardship, Geneva has not just endured but achieved. It has planned for a future community where we are able to provide vital services that contribute to the quality of life for our residents. Geneva is a proud community where we embrace our history as well as make plans to ensure a quality community where families will want to live and grow in the future. Our predecessors used forethought when making decisions that maintained, while still looking forward to ensure that the community of the future was provided for as well. I believe that is the greatest balance that we can hope for. We have faced challenges this community has not had to face in years. We have to survive those challenges and continue to ensure our community will endure. I believe the purchase of property to provide for our future Library is of huge significance for our community and its future.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I believe voters should elect me to office because of my commitment to the Library and the Geneva community. I have established a track record of planning for the future, cooperation with other taxing bodies, fiscal responsibility and leadership of the Library Board. I believe in the atmosphere of teamwork that I have nurtured and encouraged on the Library Board. I believe as the Board President I have lead the Board through challenges with cooperation and communication. I also will continue to listen and take every comment made to me back to our Board from our residents for consideration and deliberation. I hope the voters will recognize my contribution to the community and again support me as a candidate for the Library Board.
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