Capping the Monday, January 14, McKinley Park Advisory Council meeting with smiles, some of the attending members and officers include, from left, Nicholas Efronsis, Secretary Katie Flores, Treasurer Samantha Belcik, Julian Longoria and Gudelia Garcia.

McKinley Park Advisory Council Preps 2019 Programs, Officer Elections

Published January 17, 2019

The McKinley Park Advisory Council announced a range of ways local residents can get involved in leading and supporting McKinley Park at the council meeting on Monday, January 14. Elections for council officers will take place at the McKinley Park Advisory Council meeting on Monday, March 11, and candidates are welcome to run for the council offices of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, said current council President Veronica O'Malley.

Another significant avenue for park engagement and leadership comes through the McKinley Park Community Steward volunteer opportunity, a formal Chicago Park District position that offers free training in park and species management, plus a leadership role in the new designated natural area on the east end of McKinley Park. "This would be very exciting for someone interested in ecology," said longtime council member Dayna Calderon.

The council elections are decided by a majority of votes from members attending the election. In order to be eligible to vote, an individual must have attended at least two of the previous four council meetings: from the November 2018 meeting through the upcoming council meeting on February 11.

Officers are limited to a one-year term and can only serve on a single Park Advisory Council at a time. Current acting Treasurer Samantha Belcik indicated her intent to run for the Treasurer position at the upcoming election.

Monday's meeting agenda also included planning for the upcoming Volunteer Appreciation Potluck from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 26. "This is an old-fashioned potluck," O'Malley said. "Let's come together and share a meal." All current, former and future park volunteers are welcome to attend, she said.

The McKinley Park Farmers Market is in the pipeline to return in 2019, and Monday's meeting touched on planning and new ideas for the popular recurring event that takes place on Sundays during the summer. A pending addition this year may include lawn games like bocce ball, bean bags and horseshoes. Council officers concurred that extending the upcoming market season into October, as was tried out this past fall, would be unlikely.

At the meeting, the council also welcomed new McKinley Park Supervisor Briana Soria, who shared park updates, including the park staff's current efforts to thoroughly clean out, refresh and re-inventory all elements of the field house, which in 2018 enjoyed a massive structural and interior overhaul, including roof and facade repair, new windows, refinished auditorium floors and shutters, and many other improvements.

Log In to comment on this item.