Election 2013: Don Knoll
Don Knoll is one of three candidates running unopposed for the Clarendon Hills Village Board.
Name: Don Knoll
Position sought: Clarendon Hills Village Board
Years in Clarendon Hills: Almost 12
Family: Wife Melissa; sons Alex, 9, Cody, 6, and Bailey, 3.
Education: Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from University of Texas.
Occupation: Stay-at-home parent
Previous elected offices: Clarendon Hills Park District commissioner (2005-present)
Applicable experience qualifying you for the position: I have an engineering degree and sales background. I both understand technical issues and enjoy working with others. My two terms on the park board have enabled me to gain important experience in local government and to build relationships with Clarendon Hills residents and other community leaders.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I was asked to interview with the caucus and was selected as one of three candidates that they believe will best serve the needs of the community. I believe that the office should seek the candidate and not the other way around. I have no specific agenda, just a desire to serve and to be a responsible and active citizen in this community through contributing to its governance. I have lived in Clarendon Hills for the past 11 years and believe that it is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. As a stay-at-home dad with three young children, I value the health of the community and plan to live here for many years.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
My greatest priority is to ensure that the village is being fiscally responsible in managing the services that we provide to the residents. I appreciate the services that the village provides, and I want to make sure that we continue to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of our residents and are good stewards of the village’s resources. We have a great community, and I want to make sure that we continue to improve.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
As noted previously, I am an engineer and a stay-at-home dad. I probably have a different perspective than the other two candidates based on that alone. One of the other candidates is a lawyer, and the other has a financial background. I believe this diversity will be an asset to the board as a whole.
What is your favorite thing about Clarendon Hills?
I love the fact that Clarendon Hills is a small, friendly and safe town. People here walk around and get to know each other and share a sense of community. I know virtually all of my neighbors, and I consider many in the community to be friends. It’s a great place to raise a family.
What is your least favorite thing about Clarendon Hills?
We are so protected here that I feel at times like it is not reality. I believe it is more difficult to teach my kids the way the “real world” is, when our daily lives here are so sheltered. I want my kids to appreciate what we have and understand that the rest of the world is not necessarily like this. In the end, it’s a good problem to have.
Do you support continued exploration of a Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills police department merger? Why or why not?
Yes, I do support the exploration of any potential change that could result in cost savings for our town. I believe that becoming more efficient without decreasing services should be our goal. I don’t know if legislative or other obstacles will ever allow us to pursue this, but if it does become an option, I would certainly want to consider it.
What are your thoughts on the village updating its downtown master plan and the process by which it’s being done?
I believe that the master plan should be regularly updated as times and priorities will continue to change. My understanding is that the village is looking for residents to volunteer for three sub-committees to get involved in a process that will take between six and nine months to complete. It appears that trustees will oversee the sub-committees and that a community outreach plan will be developed to increase public involvement and input. While I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the process, my initial assessment is that the community participation and communication are both positive aspects.