March 29, 2011 1:02PM
Ken Balcerzak, candidate Summit Hill SD 161. | Supplied photo
Office sought: Member of the Summit Hill School District #161 Board of Education
Name: Ken Balcerzak
Address: Tinley Park, IL 60487
Twitter handle: N/A
Telephone numbers: N/A
Education: BBA Accounting, St. Norbert College
Occupation, employer: Insurance Professional
Please list all sources of income: Insurance Profession
Spouse, spouse’s employer: Barbara Balcerzak, N/A
Children, age of Children, children’s employer (if applicable): Michelle (17), Michael (15)
Please list any relatives, including in-laws, who are employed by a government agency at the federal, state, or local levels. What are their job titles and with what agency are they employed? N/A
What other elected offices have you sought? What year?
Summit Hill School District #161 School Board – 2007
Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, for what? What was the disposition? N/A
Do you have any criminal convictions on your record? If so, for what? What was your sentence? N/A
Political experience: Summit Hill School District #161 Board of Education since 2007
In your view, what are the two most important issues facing your constituents? How would you address those issues?
1. The current economic environment with high unemployment is having a significant impact on the people within the school district. Schools rely heavily on property taxes to fund schools, as well as funding from the State of Illinois. When people are unemployed they may have difficulty paying property taxes and everyone is aware of the problems with the State of Illinois.
2. Each parent within the district wants the best education for their children and this is always on their minds. Our job as school board members is to make sure our policies and goals provide opportunities for each child to reach their potential, preparing them for high school and beyond.
Please explain something significant you would like to accomplish within the next two years if you are elected to the office to which you aspire.
Summit Hill School District #161 is an exceptional school district with high quality teachers, staff and administration. The key to education is finding and maintaining the right mix of dedicated professionals that always put the children of the district first. I would like to see the district maintain that mix of professionals.
Please explain how you believe the office you’re seeking can help in creating local jobs. N/A
Do you believe the current way Illinois pays for education is working? If so, why? If not, why not? What would you change?
Funding throughout the state is highly dependent on property taxes which can work if property values are high or increasing in value, but can be a double-edged sword as a community matures, as property values decline, and when the State of Illinois does not make timely funding payments to the school districts. I do not have an answer on how to change the system.
Would you make any changes to the budget of the governing unit to which you are seeking elected office? If so, what?
The district has done an excellent job of managing its finances. The cost per student is one of the lowest in the state. The number of students per administrator is one of the highest in the area. The current steps taken have been very effective to date. The financial successes can be reviewed in depth at www.threefor161.com.
Are there any other issues you want to bring to the public’s attention? If so, what?
A school board member must have a clear understanding of their governance role. They must be able to look at the big picture and make decisions that are in the best interest of all the children of the district. They must be able to ability to learn and understand complex financial matters. I possess these characteristics and appreciate your vote on April 5th