AP NEWS

DeKalb Park District board looking to fill vacant position

May 2, 2019

DeKALB – Phil Young, president of the DeKalb Park District’s Board of Commissioners, said the board will soon have to decide how to fill a vacant commissioner seat after not enough people ran for the board during the April election.

April’s election saw Commissioner Dag Grada reappointed for a six-year term and welcomed newcomer Gail Krmenec also for a six-year term. Both will be formally installed during the board meeting set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Ellwood Visitor’s Center, 509 N. First St. The board needs to appoint someone to fill the empty spot left by Patrica Perkins, who did not run for reelection, which would be for a two-year term.

With Young, Grada and fellow commissioners Keith Nyquist and Dean Holliday on board, its even more vital for a fifth voter to be at the table.

“You never want a board that’s got four [people],” Young said Wednesday. “You need tie-breaking votes.”

After officially declaring the open position vacant, Young said the commissioners will have two options: to open the appointment up to the public, invite people to apply and conduct interviews or to appoint the person themselves.

“The board also has authority to have a meeting and decide among ourselves,” Young said. “My guess is we’ll want to get someone on as quickly as possible.”

In other news

After Monday’s public meeting to gauge residents’ concerns on the impending master plan for Welsh Park, 651 Russell Road, the board also will discuss the next steps for the project.

Representatives from the Park District staff, the board and consulting firm Upland Design presented concepts for renovations. The district is seeking comments on the design and recommendations for what aspects should be included in the final master plan.

“We believe at this point the park underserves the population there,” Young said. “It was designed 20, 30 years ago, and a lot more people and children are living over there. So it makes sense to update the park.”

Young said the Park District has been working with organizers involved in the Annie Glidden North Revitalization Task Force to renovate the park and turn it into something more than just a playground. Like the district has done in the past, Young said he hopes to also go to elementary schools and have the children weigh in on what to do with Welsh Park.

“We can go right to the consumer,” Young said. “We want to get as much information on this, so everyone can have something of interest to them.”

Young said he and other Park District officials went to Springfield on Tuesday and Wednesday to talk funding and are looking into ways to obtain a grant to fund the Welsh Park project.