Candidate profile: Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker
Jeff Parker mkoziatek@bnd.com

Name: Jeff Parker

Age: 63

Immediate family members: Wife, Delana; son, Dave Parker; daughter, Nicole Parker; stepdaughter, Heather Terry; stepdaughter, Brooke Terry.

Town: Swansea

Office seeking: Trustee

Occupation: St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s investigator

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Granite City School Board, five terms / 20 years

Why are you running? Swansea is where my wife and I are going to stay when we retire. I have always been involved in the community in which I reside. I feel my life experiences and positions held in my working career along with holding an elected position with a large unit school district for 20 years gives me valuable experiences to hold this office.

What is the most important issue facing the village of Swansea? How would you approach it? Keeping watch of the taxpayers money while still maintaining a quality police, fire and public works workforce. Next would be to always seek businesses to fill open retail spaces. Swansea is a bedroom community with small businesses and we need to keep what we already have while seeking new opportunities. Village government duties are to provide security and safety for these businesses and our residents. This is why the police, fire and public works departments are a priority with me.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Seeking applicant with experience with management skills with budget, public safety and maintenance of facilities. Able to seek vendors to provide services to public.

How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? With tight oversight in budget line items with each department of the Village. Sit downs with chiefs of each department and require their needs be explained in detail before approved.

In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? As a past school board member from my old community, I understand their need. They should provide the need for the increase. As for public safety , I see this all the time and see this need as vital. The sheriff needs this for street deputies. Swansea would receive approximately $300,000 which would benefit our needs greatly in a small community needing to watch our monies. And we need to remember that additional deputy patrol adds to backup to our own officers in drastic occurrences, which can happen and affect any of us. When you need help, it’s good to know it’s coming.

Why should people vote for you? My desire to be involved in my community. My past experience as a 25-year detective sergeant who also served as a deputy commander on the Major Case Squad. My 10 years as a warden with the Illinois Department of Corrections running Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center with a $26 million budget and 250+ employees. My 20 years as an elected school board member in a large unit district gathering the trust to keep being re-elected. And most of all, I like being involved in my community and helping it be the best it can be. Common sense goes a long way is what I believe. I keep informed and use my common sense in all my life experiences to make decisions.