Reorganization Plan Aimed at Gaining Trust: Plainfield Parks Director

Board also elects secretary, treasurer.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
Plainfield Park District Interim Executive Director Richard Grodsky presented a reorganization proposal to the board of commissioners on Wednesday, saying the plan "is an effort to become predictable and gain trust with the public" after a year of turmoil.

Grodsky was hired in April to lead the park district as it searches for a replacement for former Executive Director Garrett Peck, who resigned in January.

Grosky presented a proposed organizational chart he said could serve as a guide for a new executive director. The chart shows residents at the top, with the board, executive director and four department heads under them.

Departmental directors would oversee communications, finance, recreation and parks.

Grodsky also presented a pay scale for full-time employees, outlining how raises could be received based on performance, which would be evaluated based on goals and expectations.

Also on Wednesday, commissioners voted to elect Director of Finance Maureen Nugent as board treasurer. 

Nugent replaces Doug Booth, who currently serves as the park districts director of communications. Earlier in the meeting, Village of Plainfield trustee Jim Racich spoke up during public comment, echoed his call for Booth's termination, asking the board if they have reviewed his job application. Racich told the board Booth is "totally unqualified" and that his hiring was the request of "political cronyism."

Booth was hired as interim director of communications in May 2013 while Peck, who serves on the village board with Racich, was still executive director.

His salary at the time was $66,000. When he was initially hired, Booth told Patch the job was "temporary" and said he did not know whether he would apply to stay in the role past the three-month mark. Park district documents show that when Booth was offered a permanent position in December 2013, that salary was bumped to $82,000.

In addition to electing Nugent, the board opted to keep Executive Secretary Wendi Calabrese as board secretary, and continue to retain Kavanagh, Grumley & Gorbald as the park district's legal firm.

The board's next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, July 9.

Click to view video of Wednesday night's meeting.

Tim June 12, 2014 at 02:50 PM
I fully support Mr. Grodsky in his actions. After reading the public documents of Doug Booths emails, I also fully support him resigning of his own will because his integrity should not allow him to hold a position he is clearly not qualified for. This guy is a reverend for gods sake! I hope Mr. Racich is as vocal about demanding his fellow village board member peck to also resign at the next village board meeting. It is nice to hear you speak out on this Jim, but credibility involves consistency. Now would be a good time to start.
Vicky Polito June 12, 2014 at 03:36 PM
Mr. Grodsky's presentation was interesting and I especially liked the focus on things I'm so used to from the working world: the structures of pay-grades, job descriptions, job classification, reporting relationships, etc. When people blather about "running government like a business" this is the best of that sort of thing in practice. Also, he did speak about the benefits of being "predictable" which to me translates to the benefits of being "consistent". Consistency also means discipline and clarity and those things are really useful to running any enterprise well. Yes, you need to balance all this with agility and adaptability, but that's what work is all about: moving forward with good balance. Things are continuing to improve. Yay for the good guys.
Tinfoil Hat June 12, 2014 at 07:07 PM
I was in attendance and appreciated his comments about not needing the Planning Department, especially the landscape architect. At least Hurtado didn't have any of his cronies put into those unnecessary positions. They were useless.
Ame Bible June 13, 2014 at 05:38 PM
Just hope that the people of Plainfield has had enough of the tea party system, not to mention long term cronyism or nepotism, that occurs from time to time. Additionally pervasive in many government sectors. Positions should always be made available to the general public and best qualified. Hurray, PPD, leaning forward!


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