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Letter: New Park District Director Reaches Out to Community

Gene Coldwater was officially named interim executive director on Friday.

Gene Coldwater. Credit: Plainfield Park District
Gene Coldwater. Credit: Plainfield Park District

To the Plainfield Park District Community,

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you. I have been employed at the Plainfield Park District for 21 years, the last 16 years as the Superintendent of Parks. As the newly appointed Interim Executive Director I want to reach out to you, our valued community members, and reaffirm our commitment to you.

There is no hiding the fact that the recent months have been turbulent and have led to much anxiety and frustration being expressed by the public. We are aware that there are those in the community who question whether a quality product can still be delivered to those who take part in park district classes and programs. To that, I can say without a doubt, that professionalism and quality programming has never left. Our dedicated staff has always taken pride in bringing quality events and programs to our community, and that will never change. 

You, the community, deserve the best in services from YOUR Park District. Nothing is more important to us than regaining the community’s trust, and we hope you will allow us the opportunity to provide the positive Park District experience you have come to expect and deserve from us. 

Yours in service,

Gene Coldwater

Interim Executive Director, Plainfield Park District

Ericus Alanas January 28, 2014 at 04:58 PM
He's only the interim, meaning taking over necessary tasks/responsibilities until they find a qualified candidate. But maybe he can make some good changes.
Joe Schmo January 28, 2014 at 06:46 PM
BD- You are absolutely right. The park district has a population of about 100,000 and doesn't have the facilities to support adequate programming. The problem is that population growth in this area started in the mid 1990's when the state legislature enacted the tax which doesn't allow the park district to issue enough money in bonds to build a building without asking the taxpayers to approve issuing bonds and with it property taxes. They've tried a couple times to ask voters to approve a bond sale for projects but it didn't go through. Kinda sad that we don't have a rec center to work out in or even a gym for kids to play basketball.
Joe Schmo January 28, 2014 at 06:46 PM
Typo - enacted the tax CAP
Vicky Polito January 28, 2014 at 06:55 PM
There are other some local facilities for indoor work outs (example: the Y) and a rec center is a very expensive prospect for which there is no solid plan and no financial foundation yet to make it a reality. The bigger trouble with coming up with a plan and the money to do it is that this board majority and Garrett Peck have put our district in fiscal jeopardy with managing the money we do have badly, to the point of leaving levy funds on the table to save residents about eight bucks a year per household and--worse--spending down the contingency fund which will make it harder to recover from any disaster but more importantly will put our credit/bond rating at risk at the next annual audit. So, if we wanted to borrow for a bigger project we'd have a tougher time doing and it will cost more. Nice going, guys. They spent money on badly thought out raises and lawyer fees and all other manner of waste and it's going to cost us for a long while.

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