Veteran member leaving Mount Prospect park board
Gary Grouwinkel, a veteran member of the Mount Prospect Park District board, has announced that he will not run for a fourth term when his seat expires in the spring.
"I've had my day," he said Wednesday. "It's been a great experience, but it's time now to let someone else do it."
Grouwinkel, who joined the park board in 2001, said he's proud of what the commissioners and staff were able to accomplish in the past 12 years. He cites the construction of a new golf club house and the opening of the Meadows Aquatic Center as examples.
"The last thing on the list of big goals we had 12 years ago was updating the golf course, and it looks like we're well on our way there," he said. "So I feel really good about what we've done."
Grouwinkel retired in 1999 from a career as a football coach that took him from big-time college programs like those at Northwestern and Florida State to the high-school teams at Prospect and York high schools. A resident of Mount Prospect since 1976, Grouwinkel said he wanted to give back to the community after retiring. So he turned to the park district.
"It was fun to be part of creating something that the citizens really seem to like," he said. "We get great participation in park district programs."
Grouwinkel said he looks forward to spending more time with family after stepping down. He used to sometimes fly back from trips to Arizona, where his daughter lives, to attend board meetings. "Now I won't have to," he said with a laugh. "That will be nice."
Grouwinkel's announcement comes shortly after Walter Cook, the park district's longtime CEO, announced that he would retire at the end of March.
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