Daily Journal

The Kankakee Valley Park District Board is looking to fill a vacancy after accepting the recent resignation of commissioner Derek Mullady.

The board unanimously voted Monday at its committee meeting at the Bird Park conference room to accept Mullady’s recent email as a letter of resignation. Mullady’s residency was questioned in August when the board received an anonymous letter saying he had moved out of the district. Mullady said at the Aug. 26 meeting only that he lived in Kankakee County and didn’t elaborate further and abruptly left the meeting.

Board members [or commissioners] must live in either Aroma or Kankakee townships, which make up the district, in order to serve on the board.

Mullady sent an email on Aug. 27 to board members and Executive Director Dayna Heitz, clarifying his residency. Mullady wrote:

“I have a lake house at Shannon Shores in Reddick, I also have a house at the marina that I am currently selling. An early offer was made for my business, so instead of being rushed to move, we decided to stay at our lake house ... that offer fell through, however we stayed at the lake anyways. Another offer has been made and I accepted it and hopefully will be closing next month. So I will NOT be in the district any longer.”

The Board is now seeking individuals interested in serving on the park district board. The open seat has an unexpired term that will be up for election at the next statutorily required election. The board plans to appoint someone to fulfill the open seat until the winner of the next election is seated. Mullady was elected in April 2019 and his term was for six years. However, the seat will come up for election sooner because Mullady’s unexpired term is greater than 28 months, and the board will be verifying if that election will need to be in 2021 or 2023 based on the statute.

“In the past we all know what we’ve been doing here,” Board president Bill Spriggs said. “Being in here for two and half hours bickering and not getting a whole lot done. I’m not putting the blame on anybody, but I think this is an opportunity to get another board member here, perhaps on the same page we all are hopefully, and to begin to get some work done when it comes to our parks. ... We haven’t got much done to tell you the truth, and this is a chance to come back from a rough period of time for all of us. I hope you all feel that way.”

Board member J.J. Hollis said he’s hopeful they will get a community-oriented person to take the seat, which is an unpaid position.

“People get on this board and figure out there’s hard work involved,” he said. “... I think we’ll get a lot of candidates. We need to keep an open mind, and I think we can get it done rather quickly.”

Also, at the suggestion of commissioner Dave Skelly the board also agreed to present Mullady with a plaque, thanking him for the 16 months he served on the board.

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