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updated: 2/11/2012 11:43 AM

McGury sticking with park district in Naperville

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  • Ray McGury

    Ray McGury

  • Mike Reilly

    Mike Reilly


Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury has police leadership in his background, but he won't seek the Naperville police chief job made available by the upcoming retirement of Chief Dave Dial, McGury announced Saturday during the second annual state of the park district address.

McGury said a tentative agreement has been reached extending his contract until 2015, and his passion now lies with parks and recreation.

"One thing (my parents) always taught me is be a man of your word, you know, stand by your convictions, and when I left law enforcement after 28 years, I said 'I'm not coming back,'" McGury said. "I want to announce today I will not be submitting my name as police chief for the city of Naperville."

McGury's announcement drew applause from about 60 people gathered in the Riverwalk Community Center to hear park board President Mike Reilly's speech. Reilly discussed the district's plans to re-brand itself, redesign its website and add several new amenities in 2012.

"We're going to adopt new branding for the park district," Reilly said. "We're not going to replace our logo ... but we do want to re-brand the park district. We want to get the word out, communicate to our residents more strength in the value the Naperville Park District brings."

The park district receives about 4.5 percent of the average Naperville homeowner's property taxes, which amounted to $303 this tax year for a home valued at $325,000.

Reilly said the park district provides value by keeping its 140 parks and more than 2,500 acres well-maintained and by striving for "continuous improvement."

"What we hear from residents is we don't necessarily need a lot of new things, but take good care of what we have," Reilly said. "That's an important goal for us going forward."

Some additional features slated for 2012 include the park district's 68th playground and 25th basketball court, both planned for Creekside Park. A seventh ice rink, planned for Meadow Glens Park, and the park district's second nine-hole disc golf course, planned for Knoch Knolls, also are expected to be completed this year, Reilly said.

2011 initiatives such as major renovations at Nike Park, Seager Park and Centennial Beach, all were finished "on time and under budget," Reilly said. Hiring a volunteer coordinator also was successful because 3,541 volunteers gave 88,923 hours to the park district last year, he said.

"Clearly we could not do what we do without those volunteers and that's critical," Reilly said.

More support for the park district could soon be coming from the efforts of the Naperville Parks Foundation, which was established in December to handle fundraising and donations.

"We felt it was time for it," said foundation board member Sandy Benson of Naperville. "The park district is what makes Naperville one of the best communities to live in."

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