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Meyers Elected Park Board President

Members vote in Kaplan as vice president; staff rescues Park Avenue boat beach.

 was unanimously elected president of the board of commissioners for the  by his fellow members at their annual meeting Thursday night at West Ridge Center. 

Newly minted Commissioner  was chosen vice president to replace Meyers. The former board leader, Elaine Waxman, declined a nomination for another term as president. 

At its regularly scheduled meeting before the annual gathering, the board passed its annual budget. Executive director  also reported on successful efforts to repair damage to the Park Avenue boat beach resulting from the week’s torrential rain. The work was done to insure opening as scheduled on Saturday.

Gavel handed to Meyers

When the annual meeting began, Commissioner Cal Bernstein nominated Waxman for another term. She told the board she was ready to step aside in favor of new leadership. 

“After leading the board through nine difficult months, I am ready to pass the gavel to a new face,” Waxman said. “We have made many positive changes and are well positioned to move ahead. I look forward to a good year and so I decline.”

Bernstein then picked Meyers, who accepted the nomination. After his selection, Meyers nominated Kaplan to succeed him as vice president. Both received unanimous votes to their respective position.

Meyers stressed the board works together to build consensus. 

“With three new people on the board, it made sense to bring in someone with [a] fresh perspective,” he said. “I was tempered with some experience of how to do the job. I’m pleased to be of service to the Park District.” 

After the meeting, Kaplan discussed the Park District’s master plan, a subject Meyers, Kaplan and  campaigned on before . 

“We’re going to keep talking about the master plan,” Kaplan said. “Highland Park is in a good place and I’m honored to be able to do this.” 

McElroy was reappointed executive director, David Fairman was named treasurer, the accounting firm of Lauderbach & Amen was appointed as the auditor and legal counsel will be provided by the firm of Ancel Glink

$1 million surplus

During the regular meeting, the 2011-2012 budget was formally adopted. It was presented to the board and the public April 24. It has been available for public review at the Park District office, the Highland Park Public Library and online.

McElroy reported there was no public comment. 

Finance director  told the commissioners that revenue was projected at $20,942,269 and expenditures were expected to be $19,749,824. He said that would leave a surplus of $1,192,445. 

After the budget was approved, McElroy described the yeoman efforts of the staff to battle erosion at the Park Avenue boat beach after damage from heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday. 

“The rainwater rushing down the ravine looked like a river,” McElroy said. “Two sections of the beach were eroded and the debris looked like there was a microburst, which it wasn’t.”

The repair efforts were made more urgent by the scheduled opening Saturday for the Memorial Day weekend. 

The staff quickly acquired 90 tons of sand for one section and from 100-110 tons of sand for the second section.

“The good news is 90 tons of sand only costs $2, 000,” said McElroy, who noted $2,300 was required for the other section's sand.

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