D86 candidate Kevin Camden's questionnaire

Kevin Camden

Attendance area: Hinsdale South

Years in district: 20

Age: 49


BA, Economics, Northern Illinois University

JD, John Marshall Law School

Occupation: attorney

Community service:

Cass Dist. 63 Foundation (10 years prior to D86 board election)

Darien Lions Club

Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Council

Board experience:

VP, 2017-2020

President, 2020 to present

Finance Chair 2017-2020, committee member present

Facilities Committee, 2018-present

negotiation committee (HHSTA contract) for the most recent contract negotiation

Why are you running for this particular seat at this particular time?

In the short-term, to get our schools safely back to full, in-person enrollment as soon as possible. Moreover, in my first term, I have invested significant time with the finance committee, coming to understand district finances and how dollars affect everything we do in the district. On the facilities committee, we have monitored on-time performance and the budget, stewarding the referendum dollars and I look forward to an on-time, on-budget project. Finally, we have made significant strides in developing and implementing the District's strategic plan and I wish to see these things through to completion to ensure that the district remains poised for success for years to come.

What in your personal or professional experience has prepared you to be an effective board member?

I have been a board member on other organizations, including national organizations, and believe a board's role is oversight and focusing on organizational goals, not micromanaging; the current board has worked together to continue moving the district forward. Moreover, being on the BOE during COVID has been beneficial in learning and working with staff and students to safely keep the classroom open.

What in your opinion are the board’s three most important responsibilities?

Manage the district administration as to meet the district’s mission.

Be stewards of district finances, realizing the funds are taxpayer dollars.

Govern consistent with the Open Meetings Act.

What is the district’s greatest strength? Which area is most in need of attention?

Greatest strength is the staff and its commitment to reaching all of the districts students where the student may be in learning.

I think the correlation of everything in the district to finances has been a weakness until recently. I think there was a lack of understanding that sometimes tough decisions need to be made because the budget does not allow for something to go forward.

What is the most pressing budgetary matter the district will face over the next four years?

Unfunded mandates because the state has a significant budget deficit.

What will be your top three priorities if elected?

Completing the strategic plan. Completing the construction connected to the referendum. Continuing the District’s outstanding educational opportunities, including expanding the transition center.

Please cite a recent board decision that you have agreed with and one that you have disagreed with and briefly explain your reason(s) why.

I decision that I agree with is keeping students in the classroom. This was discussed at length in December and in a fourth result, the only 43 vote I’m aware of in the last four years, students were kept in the classroom through the end of the school year and to start the spring semester.

The only board decision I can think of that I disagree with I indicated why at the time and gave my rationale, and that is the expansion of the pool at Central because representations were made leading up to the referendum about what facilities improvements would be made at each campus. I am thankful for the private donors that have stepped forward, but for the reasons I stated at the time, I do not believe it was consistent with what was explained to the taxpayers prior to the vote.