Park district OKs 2004 levy, hires new athletic supervisor

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By BILL DWYER

The River Forest Park District handled its last bit of 2004 business Monday night, unanimously approving the 2004 tax levy at a special board meeting. The $1,064,541 levy represents a 5 percent increase over last year.That levy, which by law must be labeled as "2004," in actuality concerns funds to be used for the 2005 fiscal year.

In addition to the levy ordinance, the board also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing and directing the Cook County Clerk to make 33 percent reductions in three budgetary funds for the 2004 levy year. The purpose of those reductions in the Illinois Municipal Employee's Retirement and Social Security Fund, the Liability Fund, and the Audit Fund is to create as much additional capital in the Corporate Fund as possible. The Corporate Fund is a general fund which can be used for any purpose the board sees fit, as opposed to the specifically directed uses for funds in other categories.

The board will get a quick start to the New Year when it holds its first board meeting of 2005 on Monday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in the park district headquarters building.

The district will start that new year with a new athletic supervisor. Executive Director Thomas Grundin announced last Wednesday that Michael R. Kenny has been appointed to the position effective Dec. 28. Kenny replaces Brad Keene, who left after just four months in the position. Keene, who interned at the much larger Wheaton park district, was actively recruited by that park district after the sudden departure of one of their administrators.

"When they lost one of their staff, they approached (Brad) and offered him X amount of dollars to return," Grundin said Monday.

Grundin touted Kenny's experience in recreation, and said he looked forward to seeing the young man's ideas implemented. Grundin said that while Kenny has less experience than either of his two predecessors at the River Forest Park District, Kenny's varsity high school basketball experience would be valuable in his role as supervising the district's recreational basketball program, as well as the Foresters traveling team.

Kenny graduated earlier this year from Illinois State University with a degree in Recreation and Park Administration.

"He's still well versed in park administration and programs," said Grundin.

Besides a wide array of administrative responsibilities, Kenny will oversee all of the district's sports programs, including youth and adult basketball programs, traveling teams, as well as handling field and facility scheduling. He'll also serve as the district's liaison to the community athletic programs and special events.

CONTACT: bdwyer@wjinc.com

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