The Bourbonnais Township Park District board of commissioners will have two new faces on its five-member board as William “Bill” Bukowski and Dave Zinanni won the two open spots in Tuesday’s election.
Bukowski and Zinanni won out against two other candidates, including incumbent commissioner Clark Gregoire and Melissa Carrico.
“It’s kind of incredible,” Bukowski said. “I ran as a team with Dave Zinanni, and he won, too. I think we more or less made a statement that maybe there was some new blood needed — nothing drastic, some new eyes and ears and new perspective, just a new slant on things.”
Zinanni received 2,178 votes, while Bukowski got 1,855. Gregoire received 1,474 votes and Carrico 1,393.
Zinanni, of Bourbonnais, was a Kankakee County deputy sheriff for 30 years, and he coached football at Bishop McNamara Catholic High School for 25 years, at Herscher High School for three years and at Kankakee High School for two years. Being a commissioner will be his first public office.
“I got out [of coaching], and now I’ve got to get back involved,” he said. “I think I can help them.”
Zinanni said the Bourbonnais Township parks are in good condition, but he said the district has spent too much of its own money in the past.
“I think we could do some alternative funding,” he said.
Bukowski, of Bradley, previously served 12 years on the Momence park board and served as its president for two years.
He said he’s going into the BTPD board post with a wait-and-see attitude and will be a good listener.
“It’s a lost art,” Bukowski said. “My grandfather once said, ‘Rest your chin and give your ears a chance.’ That’s what I’m going to do. Perhaps offer some suggestions and give a proposal or two.”
Bukowski said he’ll also have an eye on fiscal responsibility.
“That’s essential,” he said. “People are taxed to death, and we’ve got to stay within our means.”