Smith resigns from Park Board

Smith resigns from Park Board

CARLINVILLE (Sept. 7, 2017) – At a special Park Board meeting on Aug. 30, President Larry Smith resigned his position.

Smith prepared a letter of resignation prior to the meeting, which he brought with him and read out loud:

“After a phone conversation yesterday with an individual, I realized that my style of hands-on leadership is not working at the Park District. I am not on the same page with some. At times the stress of leadership has been detrimental to my health and to my family. Coming to grips with this yesterday as my wife and I sat down and discussed past situations, I have decided at age 77 that this type of leadership is for younger members who are in tune with today’s situations. Therefore it is my decision while listening to my wife, family and friends that I am tendering my resignation as a commissioner of the Carlinville Park District. In the past four years that I have been a commissioner, I am proud to say that the parks and pool have been upgraded from where they were. I want to thank those that I have served with and the general public who supported and voted for me.”

The letter was respectfully signed by Smith and dated Aug. 30.

It was implied that Smith made the decision to retire following a lengthy Aug. 29 phone conversation with Randy Link, one of the district’s maintenance supervisors. Link resigned from his position a few days prior.

Link, who was present at the meeting, addressed the board at length about some of the problems he has with Smith and some of the things Smith has allegedly said. Link talked about the differences of opinion he has with Smith over things like the upgrades to the city pool and park users who park and drive on the grass, among other issues.

Smith took a few minutes to respond in defense of himself.

Although some of the differences between the two men seem to be the result of miscommunication, Smith moved forward with his resignation, which he submitted at the end of the meeting.

Link hinted that he might consider returning to the Park District.

In other business

JC McLaughlin was sworn in to fill the vacancy on the board left by Bob Duckels.

The board decided not to replace the swing set at Denby Park, but to paint the current swing set and add a couple of swings the park district already owns.

In a conversation about vandalism in Tom Thumb and Denby parks, Board Member Lori Hopping explained the graffiti painted on equipment at Tom Thumb Park could be removed with oven cleaner. The board briefly considered what they would do if the damage couldn’t be removed. The board discussed the possibility of hiring a professional company to clean the equipment and charging the parents.

It was noted the Carlinville Police Department is investigating the incident and a pair female juveniles are suspected. It was reported that one of the girls may have confessed, but that information is unconfirmed.

In reference to damage at Denby Park, the board discussed issuing warning to those who drive through the park and damage the park grounds. Smith suggested that one warning be issued and any other acts of vandalism be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

A conversation was held about parking at Loveless Park during the Kickoff Classic, which had been moved from Labor Day weekend to Aug. 26, due to problems with overcrowding. The change did not alleviate the parking problem due, in part, to buses that parked in the lots at Loveless Park instead of at Walmart as requested, and youth league games taking place at the same time.

Smith reported that a pair of large upcoming cross country meets will be held at the fairgrounds due to the parking issue. The board approved Smith’s recommendation that the new parking lot on the east side of the park be expanded.

Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Bates reported there’s a tree at Loveless Park that needs to be taken down.