Park Board Q&A
Question 1: Why are you running for election/re-election to the West Fargo Park Board and what makes you the best candidate for the position you are seeking?
Todd Rheault: I would like to keep the momentum we have gained over the past years. West Fargo is growing fast and I want the parks to continue keeping up with the growth of the city. I thoroughly enjoy reaching out to the groups and working together with the parks to obtain these goals. I feel I can bring energy needed to get things done while making fiscally responsible decisions. I am running because I am proud and enjoy being a part of West Fargo and want it to continue to be the best place in North Dakota to live.
Kathy Scully: I am involved with many projects with the parks and rec and I would like to see them through to the end. I have been on the board for 15 years and I think my experience will help to carry the newest projects through as well.
Ken Zetocha: I am seeking election once again to the office of West Fargo Park Board Commissioner in order to continue the work of the park and recreational programs and projects currently being under taken by the Park District and Commission. There are long-range plans and vision of additional programs and facilities needs I would like to get back involved with as a Park Board member to help facilitate to completion for the citizens of West Fargo.
I feel my experience as a past West Fargo Park Board Commissioner, including serving as the Fund Drive Chairman of the building of Vets II Arena, a business owner and a longtime resident of the city of West Fargo, along with my knowledge of the West Fargo Park District's past and current operation, as well as, future program and facility needs makes me the best candidate choice. Also, having raised three children with my wife, Marie, who were very active throughout their youth in various WF Park District programs, as well as, my continued involvement in youth and other organizations within the community, helps me to understand and work for these program and facility needs of the Park District for the citizens of West Fargo.
Question 2: Ranking them in order of importance, what do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Park Board during the next four years?
Rheault: First: Keeping up with the growth of the city and providing first-class facilities with the limited financial resources we have; second, aquatics, our pool has been hanging on by a thread and it is highly important that we upgrade our facilities be it new pool/splash parks, etc.; third, continue to diversify events and choices for our citizens. I feel it is very important to offer opportunities and choices for all ages from youth to senior citizens and to continue when building new parks and hosting events that we keep in mind making it fun and accessible for all ages.
Scully: 1. Growth of the city makes for growth of the parks and keeping up with that growth is a challenge.
Making sure the needs of the people of West Fargo are met, from 2 years old to 92 years old, keeping things updated in the older sections of town.
Keeping a close watch on the swimming pool and hoping for a replacement soon before we are left without a pool. Everything mentioned is important in order to keep our parks and people happy so the order of importance can change at any time.
Zetocha: There are several needs facing the West Fargo Park Board, however, I believe those most pressing at this time is the need for: 1) aquatic facilities; 2) the growing demand for walking and bike paths and 3) the balancing of developing new parks, at the same time as being able to maintain and meet our ever increasing demands for our existing park and recreational program and facility needs, within the mill levy available.
Question 3: If elected, is there a specific project or endeavor you would like to devote your immediate attention to see changed or realized? Explain.
Rheault: We have made many improvements to the parks in the past few years with the addition of Rendezvous baseball fields and 18 hole disc golf, to the new walking track/bleachers/lighting and general improvements at the Vets arena, just to name a few things. We have also added new and innovative parks to the area, so not one general project, but if we continue the path we are on I feel we will be giving the citizens of West Fargo a park system they can be proud of and that will fulfill the needs of a town our size.
Scully: The biggest project would be the pool. We are installing a few splash pads through out the city which will help, but we as a community need to realize the need for a pool is great for our youth.
Zetocha: I have no set agenda or project, as I view the job of the Park Board Commissioners is to work with the West Fargo Park District staff and other commissioners in identifying the various needs with the City of West Fargo for the citizens of the City of West Fargo and to work diligently with the Park District staff and commission to act upon those needs, which are ever changing. If elected, it is my desire to continue to work for the continued growth of the West Fargo Park District in all areas, including a strong effort to maintain and improve on existing park programs and facilities, as well as, to work with the Park District commissioners and staff, the City of West Fargo, the West Fargo School District, Fargo Park District, private groups, the developers and community in recognizing and developing new park and recreational opportunities for the citizens of West Fargo.
Question 4: Do you feel the current level of services and operations offered by the West Fargo Park District are adequate to serve our ever-growing community? Explain.
Rheault: I do feel we are making great strides in that area. Graduating from high school in 1982 from West Fargo I have seen the parks evolve into many new opportunities and as stated above there have been a lot of great additions to our community. I know that the staff at the park district is always trying new things from movie night to father son dances to senior lunches so I really like the direction we are headed. We do have some challenges keeping up with the growth but I do feel that a template has been put in place to make things happen. I think great attention has been put into working with outside groups and the schools, so we all are working together for the same goal, and if we keep on that path great things will happen for all of us in West Fargo.
Scully: I would never stop at adequate when it comes to our parks or anything we do. Bigger and better is great for our community because we deserve it, but staying within our budget and having bigger and better doesn't always work out that way. We have a park system that is second to none and I love our city and the beauty it brings to us as citizens of West Fargo and to our visitors.
Zetocha: Yes I do. We have a tremendous leadership and staff at the West Fargo Park District and due to their hard work and dedication to the Park District has been able to meet the current needs. However, with that being said, as a Park District and as commissioners, we need to be continuously evaluating the current level of services and programs through short and long range planning, including working closely with the planning and zoning commission and developers in planning for future park needs in the new development areas, as the City of West Fargo continues to grow. As an example, the Park District has seen their summer recreational programs, including soccer, baseball, arts and crafts, camp-a-day, tennis, golf and many others, grow tremendously in which we have over 1,500 participants alone. There also have been improvements at the Vets Arenas, the Legion and Babe Ruth Baseball fields, Scheels Soccer Complex, the BMX track, skateboard parks, disc golf, shelters and playground equipment throughout the existing parks and ongoing work and development of new park areas and facilities.