Lebanon Local Voters Guide – 2023 Lebanon Aquatics District Board Election

Editor’s Note: The May 16 election is when Oregonians will elect people to oversee local special districts – schools, fire and ambulance response, cemeteries and others that provide services to urban and rural residents.

Lebanon Local sent the questionnaire below to all four of the candidates for Lebanon Aquatics District Board of Directors: Jereme Guenther, who is running unopposed for Position 1; Mark McAllister, who is running unopposed as the incumbent for Position 2; and Terrence Cadigan and Kim Kendall, who are running for Position 3. Both Kendall and Candigan responded, and their answers to our questions are displayed below.

Terrence Cadigan, 66

Terry Cadigan

Years in Lebanon: Since 1986; lived in my current residence for 31 years.

Education: MS in Severely Handicapped Learner and Deafblindness: Western Oregon University

BA in Teacher Consultant of the Blind and Visually Impaired: Kutztown State University, Pa. Minor: Elementary Education

High School Diploma: Thomas Jefferson High School, Elizabeth, N.J.

Professional Background/Work Experience:

Currently: Retired

1986-2019 Teacher Consultant of the Visually Impaired and Deafblindness

Linn-Benton-Lincoln ESD, Albany

33 years

1989-2019 Deafblind Consulting Teacher to State Working Group

Representing Linn Benton Lincoln Regional Program

1980-1985 Teacher of the Visually Impaired

Baker County ESD, Baker

Political Experience/Affiliations: Member of the Democratic Party

Other Community Involvement/Affiliations (outside of activities/experience already listed):

2021-Current Budget Committee Member: Lebanon Aquatic District

1994-Current Lap Swimmer, Lebanon Community Pool

1994- 1995 Committee Member: Lebanon Aquatic District

Committee to Pass the Tax Base for Aquatic District

1988-1992 Member of the Board of Sunshine Industries, Sweet Home

Family: Married to Vicki Harlos. Son Connor is graduate of Lebanon High School. Five grandchildren (Macie, Ellis, Kaiya, Kellen and Connor Jr), two stepdaughters (Sarah and Chelsea) two sons-in-law (Saul and Jesse), and a daughter-in-law, Caitlin. I am from a family of 14 from Elizabeth, N.J.; have lived in Oregon since 1980.

Kim Kendall, age not given

Kim Kendall

Years in Lebanon: “Longtime”

Education: Dual administrative degrees

Professional Background/Work Experience: For the last 20-plus years I have worked for large companies doing audits in both telecom and budgets to find ways to cut costs and save money.

Political Experience/Affiliations: This is a non-partisan election.

Other Community Involvement/Affiliations (outside of activities/experience already listed):

Already listed above. I am an involved and informed citizen who asks questions and listens. I am very interested in sound management and being prudent with the taxpayer’s money.

Family: N/A

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Why do you want to be a Lebanon Aquatics District Board member?

Terrence Cadigan: N/A

Kim Kendall: The $10 million dollar tax bond proposed last year was really a wake-up call to taxpayers about financial and management issues surrounding the Lebanon Aquatic District and community pool. The pool cost less than $1 million when it was built in the late 1960s, so $10 million seemed very excessive – especially when property owners already pay an aquatic district tax every year and also pay user fees every time they use the pool. These funds were intended for pool maintenance and repairs. The public needs to know where did this money go and why weren’t there set-asides for deferred maintenance and repairs all these years?

The Lebanon Community Pool is a great asset for this community and we must see it thrive. A new team of aquatic district members is needed to do a top-down review of pool management and assets. Many citizens have suggested separating the pool from School District control as it was several years ago. With this separation the pool would remain where it is for school use but a fitness complex with indoor track and equipment would be built on the open ground next to the pool and become part of a Lebanon Community Recreational Center like many other cities have. It would cost much less than $10 million and perhaps even be free to those who pay the aquatic district tax.

A top-down review of pool finance and management to get the pool back on track as well as to explore these exciting new possibilities is why I am running.

What do you think sets you apart as a candidate for voters?

Kim Kendall:  I think my background as a budget analyst and senior telecom analyst set me apart. In my employment I review and document findings related to financial and budget issues.

I also work in the private sector; my paycheck comes from the private sector. We pay attention to dollars-in and dollars-out and must balance and account for expenditures accordingly or we cannot survive. We need to bring more of this mindset to the Lebanon Community Pool as well.

I see many public employees/academics on various boards. Many have derived their paycheck from the taxpayer, perhaps their entire career, then transition to taxpayer-funded retirements. I have a true appreciation for the hard work needed to pay the bills and taxpayers should keep as much of their hard-earned money as possible.

Terrence Cadigan: N/A

What would you consider your primary responsibility/ies to voters as an LAD Board member if you are elected?

Terrence Cadigan: To assist staff to maintain the facility and schedule for community use.

– To provide the community with a safe alternative for children to learn to swim and enjoy water activities.

– To ensure a range of swimming activities for all users of the pool staffed by trained guards and instructors.

– To assist the board in all options to support the continued operation and maintenance of the pool for future use.

Kim Kendall: Provide fully competent due-diligence on financial documents and policy issues surrounding the Lebanon Aquatic District. Then bring that information to the people with transparency and full-disclosure.

What do you think are the particular challenges that need to be addressed by the LAD Board over the next couple of years?

Kim Kendall: We know there are big financial concerns and repair concerns so those will have to be analyzed and addressed. We need to break it down dollar by dollar and issue by issue after I am elected. It would be irresponsible of me to speculate on how to address future issues prior to being elected. At this time, I think myself in Position 3, Jereme Guenther in Position 1 and Mark McAllister in Position 2 are dedicated and ready to do a top-down review and analysis and get the Lebanon Aquatic District back on track as a great community asset.

Terrence Cadigan: The pool was built in 1967. It has continued capital project maintenance and needs. The LAD Board needs to continue to find options to maintain and improved on Aquatic District facilities so it continues to be available for the Lebanon community.

A lot of board work revolves around funding. In general, how do you view the district’s position in this area, particularly with the difficulty in getting bond support from the community.

Terrence Cadigan: In my professional roles, I have sought, and worked with teams on locating grants to fund special projects throughout my career. I would be an active participant working with the current board in the writing of any specialized funding from grants, bonds, etc.

Kim Kendall: I agree with the large majority of voters who voted down the bond. Most people I talk with have suggested that taxing the public $10 million for basic pool repairs was far beyond what was actually required. I think many citizens suspected something else was at play because that level of funding seemed very excessive to many. Any $10 million proposal would typically have extensive project documents justifying, to the penny, how $10 million would be spent – on the pool – and nothing else. That just wasn’t there.

As stated above, we need to view the pool with more of a business mindset. Revenues-in and expenditures-out. Where can we cut and save and be good stewards of taxpayer’s money? Prudent management also requires budget set-asides every year for deferred maintenance. We cannot just burden Lebanon homeowners with more tax debt. We pay some of the highest property taxes in the state already.

What other improvements would you like to see to the district’s operations/personnel/ services?

Kim Kendall: Many people feel the Lebanon Aquatics District should never have been put under control of the Lebanon School District, which occurred several years ago. That simply linked it to school budget and other school issues.

Many think that linkage is not positive, financially or bureaucratically, and the pool could thrive without being controlled by the school district. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, Lebanon ranks 212th out of 241 high schools in Oregon and 85% of 11th-graders cannot function at grade level in math and science. The drop-out rate is around 30%. The Lebanon School District needs to focus on getting our academic standards improved.

Let the aquatic district focus on keeping the pool above water. That will be a win-win for Lebanon taxpayers, parents and students.

Terrence Cadigan: Assist the board and staff directions in providing pool options for all community users of the pool.

– Increase swimming and recreational options during open swim times on the schedule.

– To help locate and budget funding for locker room improvements.

– To continue to find strategies to involve community members who cannot afford memberships.

In addition to any of the issues already touched on, what do you consider the biggest challenge(s) facing Lebanon Aquatics District? As briefly as possible, how would you address it/those?

Terrence Cadigan: N/A

Kim Kendall: It would be irresponsible of me to speculate on how to address future issues prior to being elected and before doing a top-down analysis of financial and policy concerns before being elected. At this time, I think myself in Position 3, Jereme Guenther in Position 1 and Mark McAllister in Position 2. Are dedicated and ready to do a top-down review and get the Lebanon Aquatic District back on track as a great community asset.