Mt. Prospect parks shake-up could kill golf project
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Tom Reese figures two things ended his 20-year run on the Mount Prospect Park Board — low voter turnout and paranoia about the reconfiguring of the golf course.
"There were a few people out there who thought the bulldozers were in the ground," said Reese, who was first elected to the board in 1991. "That's not the case. And golfers are very, very committed to that course.
"Everyone is pretty happy with the park district. People only come out in big numbers when they're not happy."
Seven people ran for four spots on the board on Tuesday. After the votes were totaled, newcomers Susan Walsh and Lisa Tenuta were elected to the board, unseating Reese and James Graves, who had been on the board since 1995.
Incumbents Timothy Doherty and William Klicka were re-elected while challenger William Starr was not.
Tenuta and Walsh both ran because they are against plans to reconfigure the course at the Mount Prospect Golf Club, which would close the course for at least a year. The earliest the project could happen would be 2014, according to park district officials.
Tuesday's changing of the guard could kill the $5 million project, which would in turn save the driving range.
At least Walsh — the top vote-getter in Tuesday's election — hopes so.
"That was the issue that made me want to run," she said. "Kids are over there all the time hanging out, using the driving range, and I want to preserve that. When I was campaigning no one said they wanted that course redesigned."
Walsh said she is in favor of fixing the course's irrigation system, which would cost about $1.5 million.
Klicka was re-elected to the board on Tuesday. He said he's never met Walsh or Tenuta because they've never been to a board meeting and skipped a debate the week before the election.
"It's like we had two ghosts out there running for election," Klicka said. "They may be great for the park district or they may destroy it, I don't know. I just hate to see Tom (Reese) go, he is one of the nicest people I know."
Klicka said he is in favor of fixing the golf course nine holes at a time so that it doesn't have to be closed for entire seasons.
Doherty called both Walsh and Tenuta to congratulate them on Wednesday. Beyond that, he's not really interested in dissecting Tuesday's vote totals.
"I honestly didn't think the golf course is a huge issue to people," he said. "But I'm looking forward to working with them (Walsh and Tenuta). We have a lot of things to discuss before the golf course comes up."
With all 43 precincts reporting, Walsh had 1,918 votes in unofficial tallies followed by Klicka's 1,777 votes. Doherty came in third with 1,630 votes and Tenuta had 1,266 votes.
The new board members will be sworn in later this month.
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