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updated: 11/19/2013 5:41 PM

DuPage Forest Preserve seeking new equestrian center manager

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DuPage County Forest Preserve officials intend to start the search for a new Danada Equestrian Center site manager as soon as Monday.

Following Tuesday's closed door meeting, commissioners received a draft copy of the job posting and are to submit any questions or recommended changes to staff before Friday.

Commissioners declined to release the posting in its draft state but the district's deputy director, Mike Palazzetti said he is seeking candidates with both management and equestrian knowledge skill sets.

He hopes to post the position on the district's website Monday morning but he couldn't predict how long the search will take.

"We've got some suggestions from board members as to some areas to explore and we've got some volunteers who have suggested some universities to contact," he said. "We're going to fan this out and try to draw in the right person."

Commissioner Shannon Burns said she felt the center's more immediate need was the hiring of a full-time veterinarian to routinely oversee the horses, distribute their medicine and monitor their diets. The hiring of a veterinarian was approved in July when the district accepted Burns' report on the health of Danada's horses.

Palazzetti, however, said he would like the new site manager to be part of the discussion.

"I think it's important to bring the right person in first. If that person already has those skill sets and more of a science background, we'll have to see how a vet would fit into that," he said. "I don't want to go out and get a vet only to find out we've duplicated services."

The need for a new manager arose when the most recent leader, Patricia "Trish" Spiroff, resigned late last month.

Spiroff worked as site manager for almost five years.

Her departure came after she was charged on Sept. 23 with attempting to steal wine and cheese, valued at $30.18 from the St. Charles Costco. She was put on paid leave shortly after her arrest.

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