Editorials

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 19, 2004 | Go to article overview

Editorials


Elgin must seek experienced parks pro

The departure of Monica Meyers from the city of Elgin for the calmer open spaces of Kane County could turn out to be like one of those baseball trades that turns out beneficial for all concerned.

Though Elgin officials and Meyers say there is no connection between her departure and the problems at the city's fledgling recreation center, there is also little doubt that Meyers' skills may be far better suited to the forest preserve district. She was promoted in Elgin to the very public and very people-oriented job of parks and recreation director when her forte was planning. Her Kane County responsibilities, which she will assume in June, involve far more planning and property acquisition and development than they do people. That likely makes her choice by the forest preserve district a sound one.

That said, responsibility for the problems at The Centre never lay with Meyers alone. City Manager David Dorgan, Mayor Ed Schock and the Elgin City Council all must share the blame and the future obligation to see its operation solidified.

At least as importantly, the city needs aggressive and able leadership in the parks and recreation post because of its growth on the far-west side. A regional park and open space preservation, once an intrinsic part of Elgin's civic mind-set has slowly retreated from consciousness, something a decisive parks leader could and should reverse.

Given the results of hiring the inexperienced Lynn Robbins as the first Centre director and given Meyers' spotty record after she was promoted from recreation superintendent to the top position, possibly beyond her experience and outside her personal strengths, we would recommend the city seek an experienced parks and recreation professional from the outside. …

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