Plainfield Park Board to Hear From Hitchcock, Vote on Board Manual Revisions

Also on the agenda: social media policy.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
The Plainfield Park District board will meet Tuesday for its first regular meeting since the resignation of Executive Director Garrett Peck.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Plainfield Township building, 22525 W. Lockport St.

The board is set to hear presentations from Hitchcock Design, the Naperville-based consulting firm tapped by Peck to handle projects since the elimination of the park district planning department. The agenda calls for a discussion on board direction for future services with Hitchcock.

The board will also hear about plans for this year's Patriotic Picnic fireworks, slated for July.

Commissioners will vote on a proposal to establish a public social media policy, as well as revisions to the board manual.

A closed session is also slated to discuss "personnel, land acquisition and litigation as permitted under the Open Meetings Act."

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Ericus Alanas February 03, 2014 at 05:27 PM
First! Should be fun! Hope Mike Collins attends.
Vicky Polito February 03, 2014 at 07:55 PM
I think the board is going to hear a few more things, too. Can't say if they'll listen, but they're going to hear them.
Tim February 03, 2014 at 08:27 PM
Land acquisition? Hopefully this means they are going to correct some of the damage they did with the St. Johns deal. The 'board majority' still needs to resign, but this would be a good way to begin to repair the damage of their previous actions, while they are on their way out the door.
Larry Newton February 04, 2014 at 09:38 AM
I would like to hear what the public thinks about outsourcing planning responsibilities of the Park District.
Ericus Alanas February 04, 2014 at 09:57 AM
What's the expected cost comparison?
Larry Newton February 04, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Ericus, I hope to be able to find out tonight. I only know what's been written about this in the Patch from the previous Executive Director.
Vicky Polito February 04, 2014 at 10:40 AM
I'll tell you right up front before this meeting that I stand by what I and others have already said: as our village is preparing for an increase in housing starts and therefore in district population, and therefore in tax revenue coming in and taxpayer expectations rising, you'd have to higher than three hippies to think that NOW is an especially good time to stop having an embedded, dedicated planning department! I recall that Peck had said that since we didn't have any big projects slated for 2014, this was a great idea! But, as we know, he was LOUSY at the ED job and couldn't seem to get his head around the idea that the world won't end on Dec 31st, 2014 and maybe some things that make the future a happy one do require work, planning, scheduling, financial balancing, etc. Again, Hitchcock might be a good company to work with at times, but they will not and can not properly and cost effectively substitute for a PTPD planning department. The idea is just ludicrous.
Joel Craig February 04, 2014 at 11:37 AM
What Vicki said. Different areas of village and township government (with exception of the Library who does so much with so little) have suffered for years because of either poor planning or creating a plan and not sticking to it. An in-house planning department is vital to the long-term (a term that little G or the fearsome 3never quite understood) success of the District.
Ericus Alanas February 04, 2014 at 11:38 AM
I can agree, as a consultant myself, its not something you want embedded in your department on a day-to-day basis unless you don't care about money. I can however see utilizing them on a per project basis until the planning department can successfully deliver.
Ed Arter February 04, 2014 at 11:49 AM
Three important issues here--Cost ; cost ; cost.
Vicky Polito February 04, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Ed Arter--I hope to hear something encouraging tonight about the whole Riverfront project. It has been very discouraging to see that the part of the project that dove-tails with the PTPD agenda was just sort of orphaned by the Peck administration and it'll be a damn shame if the good work so many have done for the Riverfront Foundation doesn't lead to some real things happening this year. This PTPD board majority has torn down rather than built up many relationships community wide and I hope that the relationship with the Riverfront Foundation isn't added to that shameful list.
Ericus Alanas February 04, 2014 at 12:24 PM
Ed/Larry, whenever you bring in a consulting firm to replace an in-house solution. There are a few things the client needs to know and the reasoning behind the decision. To supplement staff, ensure service-line-agreement objectivity, enhance or ensure credibility, variety of skills, legal requirements. Cost will always be more with consultants. If you find the township of Plainfield has a requirement for one of those needs, then by all means hire one or a few. Maybe even hire one to build your department back up so it can be lean and your cost will eventually be offset. otherwise, undo whatever incoherent thing peck did. obviously nobody knows why he even did it, and there is no analysis to back up this reasoning. If you have any questions, feel free to message me and I will see what I can do to help stabilize.


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