Board Development

Acknowledgement of New Board Member Manual


Policy Making vs. Administrative

Board Policy
2 or more commissioners


Contact with Park District Attorney
Board directs Executive Director or President

Executive Director hires/supervisors all others (hour glass)


Distribution of packets
Tracy Johnson is recording secretary and general assistant in Board matters


Executive Director Direct Phone Line

Executive Director Memos: October 2016 to present


Minutes from Regular Board Meetings

Staff Directory

Writing Letters

First Meeting Guidelines for New Commissioners

At the first meeting, you take an oath of office. The Executive Director is also the Board Secretary and administer the oath. All newly elected commissioners get “sworn in” together.

Following your installment, the Board need to elect a president pro tem. The person is elected to chair the meeting during the first order of business, which is to elect a Board president and vice-president. In addition, the Board appoints a Secretary and Treasurer. As is typical with Illinois Park Districts, the Director serves as secretary and the Financial Officer serves as Treasurer. Call me if you’d like more information on the whys and wherefores of Board Officers.

Once a president of the Board is elected, the president presides over the meeting. The president has the responsibility to move the Board through the written agenda. The president recognizes, or not, Board members or other individuals who wish to speak. (See attached rules of order).

State law requires that the Board follow parliamentary procedure. As such, discussion should only follow a motion and a second. The person who made the motion is to speak first. Then, discussion is directed and coordinated by the president. The president controls discussion length.

Most motions require just a voice vote. Ordinances and some resolutions require a roll call vote, where the Commissioner states his/her vote when the secretary call his/her name.

As a basic rule of thumb, only the following topics can be discussed in Closed Session:  LAND ACQUISITION (purchase or lease), PERSONNEL (hiring, firing, compensation, evaluation, discipline), and LITIGATION (pending lawsuit). Not only can these topics be discussed in Closed Session; they should only be discussed in Closed Session. Closed session is meant to be confidential and not discussed outside of the meeting.

There is an ongoing question about interaction with audience members. It is optional. Ted Flickinger, Director of the Board’s Illinois Association of Park Districts, informs that the Board is under no obligation to field comments or questions during the action items of a business meeting. In fact, he said it is uncommon. The Listening Post is a vehicle set up before the meeting to gather information from citizens on any topic. Our standard Board procedure is to listen to comments, suggestions, and questions. All questions are answered by Staff within 48 hours.

After the first meeting, the Board seating arrangement probably change. There is nothing magical about the arrangement. If there is a specific place you want to sit, tell the president. Typically, the vice president sits next to the president. 

(At your orientation, we go over many other ins and outs of Board protocol, as well as, important items like the Illinois Open Meetings Act).

Funding & Financial

Annual Budget

Audit 2017

C.I.P. Budget

Financing Options using Bonds



Role of Auditor

Tax Levy & Bonds 101 – IPRA


Hour Glass Model


Ancel Glink New Elected Official Guide – 2017

Guide to Sunshine Laws

Parliamentary Procedure

State Laws

Park District Policies

    • Board of Commissioners
    • Personnel Policy Manual
    • Financial Policy
    • Board Administration Policy
    • Fees & Charges
    • Youth Recreational Organizations
    • Crisis Management

Open Meeting Act Training





The Open Meetings Act (OMA) requires that all public bodies designate employees, officers or members to receive training on compliance with this law. Each public body must submit the list of designated persons to the Public Access Counselor. Public bodies may submit this information by U.S. Mail or e-mail to:

Sarah Pratt
Public Access Counselor
Office of the Attorney General
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701


OMA Electronic Training OMA Designees must successfully complete the electronic training on an annual basis. When a public body designates an additional employee, officer or member to receive this training, that person must successfully complete the electronic training within 30 days after that designation.

The Public Access Counselor’s Office’s OMA electronic training is available free of charge at:




  • Get educated – attend conference, seminars and read
  • Responsible for 44,000+ constituents, not just special interest
  • Attend meetings
  • Be prepared – read packet
  • Call with questions and concerns before meeting
  • Avoid blindsiding Board and Staff at meetings

Board Policy Manual

Culture Statement

Customer Input & Responsiveness

Executive Directors Goals 2019

Indoor Recreation Study

Land Acquisitio

Management Practice

Master Plan 2018

Operational Policies

Organizational Chart

Parks Map


Program Planning and Supervision

Park Rules & Regulations Ordinance 411

Serving on a Park Board Brochure – IAPD

Strategic Plan 2018-2022

Training & Education

Vision, Mission and Values

Western Trail Link

Year In Review



Adding to Agenda


Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD)

Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA)

National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA)

Attending Events & Programs

Board as a Unit

Board Meeting Schedule

Board Members Do’s and Don’ts


  • Accept responsibility
  • Learn job duties
  • Learn role of the board
  • Participate at meetings
  • Associate with fellow board members
  • Become familiar with entire organization
  • Voice opinion
  • Be firm, fair and factual
  • Be an active representative
  • Be enthusiastic about serving on the board
  • Be a policy setter
  • Communicate with your legislators


  • Try to run the show
  • Do staff’s job
  • Make the organization politically partisan
  • Make promises you can’t keep
  • Break the chain of command
  • Try to always get your way at meetings
  • Become a one interest board member

Public Interaction

  • Channeling complaints, compliments, suggestions
  • Listening Post
  • Promise to implement procedure
  • Use staff



Inter-Governmental Cooperation

  • State
  • Village
  • County
  • School Districts
  • Other agencies ???

Why Park Benches are brown


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