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posted: 7/14/2012 5:00 AM

Park district needs to halt the cash flow

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With a current debt load of $33 million, the Mount Prospect Park District is engaged in a quiet, unrestrained spending frenzy. In April, the park distinct approved $600,000 for a Veterans Memorial in Lions Park. Our vets deserve this and every honor but this project has been on the table for 17 years. Why now?

Other projects under consideration include $285,000 for lights at Melas Park and $500,000 for artificial turf at Prospect High School.

The latest proposal is $5 million to upgrade the Mount Prospect Public Golf Course. The irrigation system legitimately needs more than $1 million in repairs; an additional $5 million is to upgrade a golf course the Daily Herald readers rated as The Best Golf Course in both 2011 and 2012. Another $1 million would be spent to move the driving range to Melas Park. I suppose that explains the need for new lights!

Nearly 25 percent ($4.7 million) of the 2012 budget is for "bonds and interest payments" yet the board doesn't hesitate to add debt. They apparently believe that their -- our -- resources are unlimited. This occurs under the watchful eye of a CEO with an annual salary of $163,000 and 26 days' vacation.

The MPPD posts their meeting agenda to their web site a few days before the meeting, making it difficult or impossible for residents, aka taxpayers, to participate on any meaningful level. Agendas handed out at the meetings don't indicate if a topic is being introduced, under discussion or up for final vote.

MPPD meets the last Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Central Community Center, 1000 W. Central Road in Mount Prospect. Residents of Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines and Elk Grove Village should attend, demand full disclosure, and fiscal accountability from MPPD. We can't afford to allow them to fly under our radar.

Literally. We can't afford it!

Brenda Smith

Mount Prospect

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