Monday, March 11, 2013

Meet the Candidates: Jim Bailey

Jim Bailey

Jim Bailey is married with four daughters and has been a respected and active member of the Carol Stream Library Board for eight years. Jim received the Carol Stream Citizen of the Year Award in 2003 in recognition for his outstanding work in the community. He is a retired business executive and entrepreneur. Jim was first elected to the Board in 2005. The experience he brings to the Board includes eight years in the U.S. Air Force, 50 years of work experience and 31 years as a resident of Carol Stream. He is a decorated and disabled veteran of the Vietnam War. Jim was re-elected to the Board in 2011, and his current term will expire in 2013. He was a Past-President of the Rotary Club of Carol Stream and has been active as a church elder at Heritage Presbyterian Church for the past twenty years. He believes that the Library is a key asset in the village and that the main role of the Library Board is to support the efforts of the professional librarians and staff members who have been hired to manage and carry out all library operations.

Here are Jim's responses to the candidate profile recently printed in the Daily Herald that will help voters get a better sense of his qualifications and his positive vision for our library:

Do you support the board's decision to put the library's Kuhn Road property on the market? Would you support a sale or lease of the property? Would you ever support construction of a new library in the village?
Putting the property up for sale is probably a moot point at this time owing to the currently real estate market. Ultimately, we will sell the property for a good profit that can then be used to fund additional programs at the library. I would prefer a sale of the property over a lease of the property, unless there are significant benefits to the library or the village through the lease. The library is currently in a solid cash position and does not need the revenue at this point. I would support building a new library now and in the future. Our library currently suffers from limited space that will make it hard for us to expand and add significant new programs in the future.

What specifically will you do to improve the working relationship among board members?

I will use my 8 years of experience on the board, coupled with the business management skills acquired over many years in a variety of business management positions, to ensure that we have a cohesive board focused on the good of the library and our users and staff.

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?

In my opinion, the current board is not focused on the needs of the community or library at all. Most of the board members do not use the library, and until several lawsuits against the library were initiated, had absolutely no interest in the library. The political climate of 2010 has added to some misguided motives of several board members. I was amazed to hear one of the candidates for appointment to the board to fill a vacant seat recently respond to the question "what do you think is the role of a library trustee" respond by saying "honestly, I do not have a clue". Our citizens expect and deserve better representation from our library trustees. We need to have a board that is not contentious, and works together to serve our community. I will work to achieve that harmony and focus if elected.

Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
Yes, I have had a library card for many years. I obtain books at the library often, including purchasing used books on a regular basis.

What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?

Economic factors have placed some libraries in peril. Thanks to the good fiscal management of our library trustees prior to the current board, we have a solid cash reserve position. To remain relevant, we must focus on what we do best, while exploring new technologies that our users want - like eBooks and access to the Internet and databases. We have a large pool of computers available for use on-site, and are currently moving ahead with long-term plans to upgrade these computers to provide better service to our users. Our library has long had a consistent, positive role in our community. We can capitalize on that strength by working to make the library more of a "destination" with the expansion of novel programs for our users.

Background and Civic Involvement:
8 years service as Library Trustee
Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library
Rotary Club--Past President
Citizen of the Year--2003
Veteran, Vietnam War
20+ years as Church Elder--Heritage Presbyterian Church
31 year resident of Carol Stream

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