Five candidates will vie for two open seats on the WCC Board.
Richard Dickson has an exhaustive amount of experience in public service, having sat on Waubonsee Community College’s Board Trustees for over 30 years, Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District as a trustee for over 25 years, and the Kendall County 911 Executive Board since its inception. He’s also served as a local church trustee for over 50 years.
Dickson is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and holds a teaching certificate from Northern Illinois University. A retired insurance executive and former partner of Zeiter-Dickson Insurance Agency, he believes the role of WCC trustee is to approve the college’s policies and hire a high-quality president, administration, faculty and staff to effectively run the college.
“I believe everyone should give selfless public service to their community,” he said.
If re-elected, Dickson’s priorities on the board will include providing students with educational courses of their choice so they have job opportunities upon graduation. He also wants to navigate the state’s financial crisis by developing budgets to keep the college solvent, and plans to address Obamacare by trying to accommodate the Health Care Responsibility Act while keeping costs to a minimum.
Former Drainage District commissioner Michael Konen will seek a seat on the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees on April 9.
“I feel that the position of trustee is just that. A trustee is put in a position of having the trust of the community to use their assets wisely,” he said. “The trustee should always represent the voice of the community on all of the board issues and decisions.”
Konen feels that Waubonsee could increase operating efficiency, and said that by expanding current programs and creating new ones, the college could help the community with employment opportunities and workforce development.
Konen gained fiscal experience from running his own business and operating a farm in the Sugar Grove community for over 30 years. In addition, he has 13 years of work experience at Waubonsee Community College, beginning with a part-time second shift custodian and then moving to full-time first shift custodian and ultimately a full-time maintenance mechanic position, which exposed him to each department and its functions on three out of four WCC campuses.
If elected, Konen’s top priorities on the board would include increasing operating efficiency of WCC in order to help keep taxes at a minimum; collaborating with other board members, administrators, local and state agencies and community members to create more employment opportunities for students; and enhancing and facilitating communication between board members and the community.
“I plan to achieve my goals by cooperating and collaborating with the other board members, staff, students and input from community members,” he said.
Waubonsee Community College Board candidate Emmett Bonfield has a very simple definition for the role of trustee: supervise and direct the operation of the college.
As a former Waubonsee student, Bonfield believes he has life experience and practical ways to improve the education experience.
“I am the best candidate because I want to try new solutions to improve the degree completion rate,” Bonfield said. “I want to develop programs so students are job ready. I want to study the financial cost so taxpayers get the best possible value for education.”
As a board trustee, Bonfield’s top priorities would include improving degree completion through new creative programs, getting students work-ready by graduation and creating value to the taxpayer.
Bonfield plans to achieve his goals the old fashioned way: through cooperation with the board and employers.
Trustee candidates Richard Bodie and Isaac “Count De Money” Wilson did not reply to the Elburn Herald’s election questionnaire.