Election

Voters to decide whether Crystal Lake Park District commissioners should serve longer terms

Extending board term lengths would allow for continuity during projects such as Haligus Road Park, district officials say

The Crystal Lake Park District building is photographed on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake Park District voters will be asked on the June 28 ballot whether district board commissioners’ term lengths should be extended to six years from four.

The referendum, added at the request of the park board, aims to ensure consistency on the board as major projects move forward, said Kurt Reckamp, the district’s superintendent of recreation programs and facility services.

“For us, projects like Haligus Road Park take momentum,” Reckamp said, “and if you change out four out of seven commissioners, that’s a challenge. It’d be nice to have some consistency.”

It hasn’t been an issue so far for the park district, Reckamp said, so the change would be preemptive.

In past elections, the district hasn’t had a problem with finding candidates, Reckamp said, with seven candidates running for four positions last year.

“We are really lucky that in Crystal Lake we have a large community who utilize our parks and programs,” Reckamp said, “and that translates into great candidates that want to lead our district.”

Should the referendum pass, it would result in biennial elections of two or three commissioners instead of the current three or four, according to a district-provided fact sheet.

The district currently has seven commissioners who each serve a four-year, unpaid term. If the referendum passes, all current commissioners would serve out their terms. In 2023, the commissioner seats up for election would switch to the new terms, and the board would be fully switched over by 2027.