Fox Valley Park District Board members will now be elected, rather than appointed, as the result of a bill sponsored by state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles.
Gov. Pat Quinn recently approved the bill, which reorganizes Illinois’ second largest park district in the state and sets up new provisions for the selection of commissioners and district mapping.
The Fox Valley Park District serves the communities of North Aurora, Aurora and Montgomery. The current appointment process does not give taxpayers the ability to hold their park district officials accountable, McConnaughay said in a news release.
“Implementing an electoral process for the Fox Valley Park District’s Board of Commissioners will increase transparency and accountability,” McConnaughay said in the release. “Senate Bill 3387 will help Fox Valley meet the intent of state law by requiring voters to elect their park district officials and assure that officials are accountable to the taxpayers they represent.”
Fox Valley Park District Board President Robert Vaughan agreed that the bill will provide more accountability.
“As the only remaining Illinois park district whose board of trustees is appointed, we welcome this transition that will allow our residents to elect their representatives by virtue of their vote,” Vaughan said in the release. “This will lead to greater engagement and participation by residents throughout the communities of Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery, which we serve. We are very excited and supportive of the new direction this will take us.”
Starting in 2016, the Fox Valley Park District will elect seven commissioners from three two-member districts, and one commissioner will be elected at-large. Four commissioners will be elected to serve a four-year term, while three commissioners will serve a two-year term, with four-year terms thereafter.