We are all experiencing loss, fear, uncertainty and economic hardships right now. So perhaps that is what drove Cory Wesley to write his negative take on the decisions made by the Park District of Oak Park [Put people over projects, Viewpoints, May 13]. 

Through research I discovered that he received the same information I did on their decision-making regarding the new recreation center. I wish he had not simplified the issue and maligned a well-run municipal agency. We would all like our governments to support residents as fully as possible during this pandemic. 

But in my research I discovered that the monies to be used are not a discretionary slush fund to be used however the park district decides. They cannot be used to support employees who have been furloughed — a furlough not a layoff — specifically chosen so employees would not lose their health coverage. 

The PARC grant may be used only for construction and expires in 24 months. To take advantage of this grant the district had to have a construction plan and funds were solicited for this purpose. None of these funds could be used for salaries.

Wesley also neglected to mention all full- and part-time employees were given three weeks’ pay after the stay-at-home order was instituted. 

With all the negativity and divisiveness abounding right now, let’s not overlook the facts.

Joan Slanina

Oak Park

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