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Plainfield park district appoints executive director

Hurtado, Steinys vote present on hiring of Capalbo

PLAINFIELD – Carlo Capalbo will be hired as the new executive director of the Plainfield Township Park District pending contract negotiations.

The park district board voted, 3-0, to appoint Capalbo at a regular meeting Wednesday. President Mary Kay Ludemann, Vice President Janet Silosky and Commissioner Larry Newton voted for his hire, while commissioners Peter Hurtado and Peter Steinys voted as “present.”

“He interviewed very well,” Ludemann said, adding that the board liked Capalbo’s philosophy, management style and how he treats his own staff. “It was a difficult decision, but he stood out as being a good fit.”

Capalbo is currently the executive director of the Worth Park District, but will start with the Plainfield park district on Sept. 8, Ludemann said.

With Interim Executive Director Richard Grodsky set to leave at the end of August, there will be about a week when the district will have no director. But Ludemann said that won’t be a problem.

She confirmed that Capalbo will make $115,000 in his first year, with options of a 3 to 6 percent raise each of the next two years of his 3-year contract.

Other details of the contract were unclear as Ludemann said it was still being sorted out.

Hurtado said after the meeting that he and Steinys voted “present” because they supported Capalbo’s hire. But they didn’t agree with certain provisions in the contract.

Commissioners voted on several other items Wednesday.

The board approved the 2014-15 fiscal year budget and appropriations ordinance, engagement letter for auditing services with Lauterbach & Amen LLP, a new investment policy and an engagement letter with Foley and Lardner LLP, to negotiate a contract with the new union for maintenance workers.

However, Hurtado and Steinys both had issues with some items.

They voted against the budget because it included a re-issuance of $3 million to $4 million in bonds that were set to be paid off this year.

“We should go to the taxpayers if we want to incur additional debt,” Hurtado said. “There is no harm in putting a referendum on the ballot.”

Grodsky said that the district doesn’t need to go to the public for the re-issuance of those bonds, which were set to deal with potential future projects. He also said it was normal for park districts to reissue those types of bonds.

Hurtado said he and Steinys wouldn’t have a problem with those bonds if they were allocated to a specific project.

Hurtado also said he and Steinys opposed the new investment policy because it got rid of safeguards and gave too much control to the executive director.

Steinys also asked for approval of minutes from previous meetings to be delayed for further review because he felt they didn’t accurately reflect the events of those meetings.

Commissioners turned down an item added by Hurtado and Steinys to replace attorney Matt Campbell with another attorney from Kavanagh, Grumley & Gorbold LLC.

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