Park Board Members Want to Limit Commissioners' Spending
Stevens, Susan, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Susan Stevens Daily Herald Staff Writer
Two Naperville park commissioners are calling on their colleagues to rein in personal spending on the taxpayers' dime.
By the end of October, the park district was more than $13,000 over its 2000 budget for board activities, and the deficit is expected to grow before the books close Dec. 31.
The board portion of the budget covers the wages of the board secretary, as well as dues, office expenses, training and travel expenses for board members.
Some of the proposals from commissioners Ron Ory and Scott McKibbin, who make up the finance committee, would curtail how much the district spends to send commissioners to out-of-town conferences and seminars.
The proposals are on the agenda for today's meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal center, 400 S. Eagle St.
In October, five commissioners and four district administrators traveled to Phoenix for the National Recreation and Park Association conference, at a combined cost of more than $15,000.
"The board knew before the Phoenix trip we were going to blow this, but five of them went anyway," McKibbin said. "If we can't balance our own budget, how do we expect staff to do with theirs?"
Groups of commissioners and staff members also attended the state conference in Chicago in January and a legislative conference in Springfield in April.
McKibbin and Ory propose limiting the number of conferences an individual commissioner can attend each year, and limiting how many commissioners can attend a single conference.
The proposal has support from commissioners Mary Wright and Steve Born.
"I don't believe we need to send seven commissioners out of state, when we could accomplish the same thing with three or four," Born said. Instead, the district should ensure its professional staff can attend, Born said. …