By Devin Rose
Interviews for the final six candidates who hope to become the next executive director of the Park District of Oak Park (PDOP) will be held next week, park board President Marty Bracco said Monday.
"It's almost an embarrassment of riches," said Bracco about the finalists, one of whom will replace current director Gary Balling when he retires at the end of April. Bracco said five of the finalists are from Illinois and one is from Arizona. They have decades of service with parks and recreation departments and facilities.
"They're all outstanding candidates," Bracco said.
Terry Porter, vice president of the hiring firm Voorhees Associates, which is assisting in the search, said the firm received 91 resumes from 17 states by the deadline to apply last month. Voorhees narrowed the list down to 20 people and had phone conversations about their skills and experience before presenting a list of about 13 to the park board.
The board then selected six for interviews. Bracco said the dates are still being finalized. Members of the PDOP's citizens committee will also be present during interviews to provide oversight. A decision will likely be made within the next two weeks.
Before Balling leaves, the board would like the new director to have time to work with him in order to transition into the role, Bracco said. The new director will make about $135,000, which Bracco said is competitive and consistent for a district of Oak Park's size.