FACT: Sometime last month, DeKalb Mayor John Rey approached Phil Young, who is the president of the DeKalb Park District, about the possibility of consolidating the two units of government. As you may already know, local government consolidation is a hot topic at the state level and a project of our lieutenant governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti, which evidently has inspired His Honor.

FACT: DeKalb Park District would rather not be absorbed by City of DeKalb. Read the rest of this entry

In a story that appears to be designed to make us feel ashamed about questioning the destruction of recreation space that has become important to the community (I’ll comment further on the land swap deal another time), the Chronicle drops in this tidbit:

About that pool: Although the DeKalb Park District won’t be building the aquatic center complex envisioned in 2010, Capek said there is a plan to fix the pool at Hopkins Park.

The pool there now was built almost 40 years ago and is nearing the end of its useful life. The park district pursued a grant for the work, but missed out in the face of stiff competition, Capek said.

“The board made the commitment to do that within existing financing,” Capek said. “The project will move forward at end of pool season in 2014 and they hope to have it open for the 2015 season.”

Unlike the old plan, this time park officials plan to save money from their annual bond issue to put toward the pool improvements. The new pool will fit within the footprint of the existing pool, Capek said.

The park board has agreed to allow staff to stat moving forward with the project, and it should be discussed more at the park board’s budget meeting Dec. 6, Capek said.

It so happens that the McHenry County Blog has just explained well this lovely loophole that park districts have made an annual ritual: Read the rest of this entry

A few weeks ago, DeKalb Park District Director Cindy Capek was quoted in the paper as saying DPD issues bonds every year. I mentally filed this because it was news to me. (Also, I’ve been meaning to keep a closer eye on any local public body whose board thinks it’s OK to have an admitted thief as president.) Anyhoo, I finally got around to asking about it. Read the rest of this entry

Park District Prez Owes Us

I have had a very high opinion of Matt Volk for a long time. He is one of the good guys: a cheerful, caring, can-do type person who gives hundreds of volunteer hours of service to his community, year after year.

But as president of the DeKalb Park District board, Volk owes his public an explanation of his guilty plea on a theft charge, or his resignation from the position, or maybe both. The one thing he should not do is to pretend nothing has happened.

Northern Star‘s article on the impending demise of DeKalb’s synthetic skating rink:

Because The Skate School was not at fault for the decline in patronage, Biernacki said he is sure the council will relieve the contract.

“We pursued [the ice rink] with widespread community support,” Biernacki said. “That support did not translate into patrons.”

Biernacki said there are many choices for the council to make in regards to the future of the ice rink. “We need to look at all of the options,” Biernacki said. “We could reprogram the rink or mothball it for a while. It’s still up in the air.”

Oh, my. There’s a whopper packed right in the middle. Let’s pull it out and eyeball it for a min. Read the rest of this entry

Williams Architects Ltd. completed the pool facilities conditions report for the DeKalb Park District that led to the creation of a political action committee (PAC) and a $15 million referendum on a new water park for DeKalb.

Because of our experience with ReNew Our Schools PAC’s having obtained contributions from the architect and the bond company who would later benefit from District 428 school construction, it seems prudent to ask whether Williams Architects contributed to the Hopkins Pool Referendum Committee. So far, the Hopkins PAC doesn’t seem to have filed a Statement of Organization with the State Board of Elections; and even if it has/does, we may not see financial reports until July.

However, for whatever it’s worth, Williams has a contribution history. Read the rest of this entry

Park District & TIF

Here are facts obtained recently from the DeKalb Park District about its agreements with the City of DeKalb:

  • Once upon a time, the Park District would submit requests to the City for reimbursements of Tax Increment Financing (TIF)-eligible expenses incurred on a project-by-project basis. The projects had to occur within TIF districts and there was no guarantee of reimbursement.
    Read the rest of this entry

  • Meeting minutes for the September 10, 2009 Park Board “study session” included a presentation of the Independent Auditor’s Report of the FY 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

    [Brian LeFevre of Sikich, LLP] reported that both the District’s Golf Course and Hopkins enterprise funds were in a negative working capital position requiring them to borrow cash from other District funds.

    LeFevre noted that these deficits could affect the wellness of other funds.

    Commissioner Mason inquired how the losses compared to last year. LeFevre stated that they were less than last year, but recommended that the District review and measure the full operating cost of the enterprise funds to manage expenses.

    LeFevre explained that due to the decline in market value, additional contributions will be required of the District to the IMRF Fund in the next few years. In FY 2009, funds were transferred to the IMRF Fund from the General Fund to place it back in balance. [Emphasis added.]

    A bit later in the program, Aquatics Center financing options were discussed. Read the rest of this entry

    All Wet

    Rockford Park District & reality: Spending cuts of $1.4 million are planned for the 2010 budget year, including administrative wage freezes and changes to health insurance that would total $955,000 in savings.

    DeKalb Park District & reality: Read the rest of this entry


    I heard a word I liked at the Park District’s unveiling of a proposed pool facility, “realistic.” That word came out of the mouth of an architect. That was a shocker and I can only hope that everyone who talked tonight understood the importance of telling the truth, not hiding anything, and making sure that people in the community can trust their actions. Read the rest of this entry