FACT: Sometime last month, DeKalb Mayor John Rey approached Phil Young, who is the president of the DeKalb Park District, about the possibility of consolidating the two units of government. As you may already know, local government consolidation is a hot topic at the state level and a project of our lieutenant governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti, which evidently has inspired His Honor.
FACT: DeKalb Park District would rather not be absorbed by City of DeKalb.
You may wonder, then, why I’ve even brought it up. It’s because an alderman has already been making noise about the good old days when the city was in charge of parks and recreation (a time, incidentally, when you could also keep a horse in your garage — yeah, let’s bring that back). It is obviously already a subject of consideration on some level.
It’s because the mayor is no paragon of honesty, the prime example being his insistence that negotiations over College Town Partners had never gone beyond informal conversation, even though the talks resulted in an executable copy of an operating agreement and memorandum of understanding of approximately 80 pages.
It’s because the park district is in good financial shape and the city will soon have to face the consequences of its hiring spree and pet projects. Let’s have no bailouts.
It’s because I’m tired of seeing important issues come out of nowhere without council’s express direction, get placed on consent agendas and rubber-stamped without substantial and competent public discussion.
Yesterday I asked President Young for DeKalb Park District’s position on consolidation and he sent it to me today. You can find a copy here.