CARLINVILLE, IL. (ECWd) –
Carlinville Park District has joined the ranks of three other park districts in Illinois to live up to Illinois Park District Code’s standard of “shall act as such without compensation” as defined in Section 4-1 of the Park District Code.
Previously, during the course of our work, we had identified three other Park Districts in Illinois, the Clark County Park District, the Arthur Park District, and the Effingham Park District, who have chosen to eliminate all perks and benefits given to commissioners, past commissioners, and their family members.
After some back-and-forth discussions and several requests for information thru the Freedom Of Information Act, we finally received the answer to a question posed to the Carlinville Park District Director, and it was: “Do any commissioners, past commissions, or their family members, currently receive or have received discounted and/or free use of park facilities, buildings, parks, sporting leagues, swimming pools, sports centers, tools, equipment, or anything else not listed?”
Commissioner Robert Duckels responded to the question with an in-depth response, which included, in part, the following:
The answer to your question is yes, there is one example of this. At times, then-current (not past) commissioners have received a registration fee waiver for their children participating in a youth sports league such as soccer, baseball or softball. There is no “policy” reflecting this, but it is a practice that has taken place from time to time over the years, though I am not sure how far back it goes.
I took some time to review your website to learn more about your group. In doing so, I read several articles about park district commissioners in other towns receiving discounted or free use of facilities, such as lifetime passes to municipal golf courses. So I understand why you are seeking this information. I note that in those articles you have called for the park districts with those policies to abandon them as in your view it is inconsistent with 70 ILCS 1205/4-1. While I disagree with your interpretation of that statutory provision, the Park District nonetheless agrees that the better practice is to discontinue providing the above-described registration fee waivers for youth athletics. That will take effect immediately.
From all indications, this park district has taken the rights steps to be in full compliance with what we believe was the legislative intent of Section 4-1 of the Park District Code, and should be commended for this action.
While it is fine to agree to disagree with the language and intent of Section 4-1, no perks or benefits will be provided, which is all we asked.