Local Election

Election 2019: Frederick M. Tiesenga, Crystal Lake Park Board

Frederick M. Tiesenga
Frederick M. Tiesenga

Name: Frederick M. Tiesenga, M.D.,FACS

Age: 53

Town: Crystal Lake

Office sought:  Crystal Lake Park District Commissioner

Occupation: General Surgeon and President of Medical Group

Education: Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI); University of Illinois Medical School (Chicago, IL)

Elected offices held: President of medical staff, Westlake Hospital (prev)

President Illinois assoc of Bariatric surgeons

President Illinois Reflux Society

Vice president of medical staff, West Suburban Hospital

Treasurer of medical staff, Westlake Hospital

Chairman of Surgery, West Suburban Hospital

Board member, AMIRF foundation

Board member West Suburban Hospital


1. What is your largest priority for the Crystal Lake Park District?

Accountability to Residents. Our Park District must represent all residents who pay taxes to support it. It’s easy to slip into a narrow focus on program participants and in-grown staff employee priorities that can work against the interests of those of us who provide the recurring funding for the Park District based on the value of our homes. Rather than take us for granted as the uncomprehending source of recurring annual tax revenue, the Park District needs to keep us top-of-mind and respect the place we all hold in the bigger funding picture. The Park District needs to be more accountable to us—to you and to me.

2. What changes should the Crystal Lake Park District make in the future?

One positive change will be the de-militarization of the Park District Police Force, which currently includes sniper rifles, night vision scopes, off-road military surplus motorcycles, and other equipment out of synch with what you would expect for our community. There is no demonstrated need for this level of confrontational and aggressive military-complex display.

3. What are your thoughts on how the Crystal Lake Park District has worked in recent years?

The Park District is funded by three standard revenue sources: Real estate taxes on all of us; program revenue from those who purchase memberships and participate in activities; and grants from other units of government and in some cases private donors. In addition, the Park District has used borrowing tools to hotwire the regular stream of real estate tax revenue, by imposing future debt burdens on our taxpayers. The current Board has done this by stacking layers of annual borrowing into a substantial pile of debt that will become more taxes on our real estate. This future bill needs to be reduced by stopping this cycle of borrowing.

4. What makes you stand out from your opponents?

I am rooted in this community since 1971, and have seen it go from a comparative rural outlier community to become the premier location and destination for young families, vital businesses and visitors who are drawn to that same atmosphere. From this same base, I have engaged with a wider professional and business community, understand how to manage people and make budgets, and how to stay balanced with time for recreation.

5. What actions have you not agreed with in the Crystal Lake Park District in recent years?

There is room for a better balance between the Park District and its neighbors all along the shore of Crystal Lake, next to various Parks that used to have more trees, and in each interaction between a park user and a Park District Police officer. I look forward to more complete agreement with the Park District in each of these areas of action.

6. What else should voters know about you?

I am an avid outdoor sports enthusiast, and also enjoy the sports chosen by my kids: Hannah who plays college-level lacrosse; Austin who loves to swim; and Jen who is crazy about gymnastics and dance.

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