New effort needed on elected park board : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
New effort needed on elected park board
In the Oswegoland Park District voters are able to elect the members of the agency's governing board. But in the neighboring Fox Valley Park District the decision as to who serves on that agency's seven member governing board is still left up to the chairman of the Kane and DuPage county boards.
We were reminded of this situation this past week when the Fox Valley Park District-which has an annual budget in excess of $60 million and serves more than 200,000 people in Kendall, Kane and DuPage counties-issued a press release announcing that Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen had appointed four Aurora residents to the board to replace five departing board members. (Lauzen also announced the appointment of a North Aurora resident to the board, but it was later learned the resident lived outside the park district's boundaries. As a result, a fifth board appointment is still pending.)
We continue to believe that Fox Valley Park District residents-including the several thousand that live in Montgomery and in Kendall County-would be far better served if they could decide who should serve on the agency's board in non-partisan elections. We remain concerned that those appointed to the board might find themselves feeling beholden to the party-affiliated board chairmen who appoint them and their parties.
Back in 2011 we supported then-State Senator Lauzen's effort to pass legislation that would have given park district voters the same right voters in the Oswegoland Park District have had to elect their own board members. Unfortunately, Lauzen's legislation went nowhere. Residents who want to keep politics out of the park district should now contact their state lawmakers and urge them to lead a new effort for an elected park board.