Last month Macomb Park Commissioners said they would not fill the vacant seat on the board. This month they agreed to appoint someone to that seat.
The new commissioner is Rachel Lester, who learned of the opening from a story in the McDonough County Voice. Lester is the Resident Services Manager for the Housing Authority of McDonough County.
Lester said her work is one reason why she applied for the park board seat.
“Part of my role and responsibility in my job is to help our residents engage in community programming. I can't do that well if I myself am not engaged in community programming,” Lester said.
Lester, who grew up in Blandinsville, also said she personally believes it's important to give back to the community in whatever way possible.
Lester praised the park district's programming and called the district “a great organization.” She is not a skateboarder but has followed the skate park development since its inception and is impressed with what has been done.
She has yet to develop an opinion on the future of public swimming in Macomb.
“It's very important that we keep our programming affordable for all Macomb residents. That would really be the deciding factor for me. If we built a swim park, for example, would that still be affordable for our children and families?”
Lester will fill the seat that had been held by Board President Lois Nickson, who passed away last year. The final two years of Nickson's board term will be up for election in April 2013. Lester said she likely will run in the election.
Also during their June meeting, park commissioners chose officers for the next year. John Hemingway will serve as president, Pat Sowers is vice president, Ray Peterson will continue to be the secretary, and Jim Bloom will remain treasurer.