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Article updated: 2/11/2014 5:35 PM

Carol Stream Park District hires group for director search

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The Carol Stream Park District board has hired a familiar face -- the Illinois Association of Park Districts -- to help with its executive director search.

The park board this week selected the nonprofit organization from among four groups that made presentations in January as the district focuses on finding a replacement for Arnie Biondo, who stepped down in December to become director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.

The Illinois Association of Park Districts, or IAPD, was one of only two groups to make presentations to the park board that work exclusively for the benefit of park districts. It recently helped pick a new park director in Vernon Hills, and is working with two other Illinois districts to find directors.

That experience was a selling point to the park board, but so, too, was the working relationship between the two agencies.

Park board President Tim Powers said the IAPD was instrumental in helping the park district lobby for legislation in 2012 to issue the full $37 million in general obligation bonds to finance the construction of multiple projects, including the Fountain View Recreation Center.

A Senate bill signed into law in August of that year provided an exception regarding bonding limits on park districts for the Carol Stream Park District.

"I know those guys very well now and really think they are going to do a fantastic job for us," Powers said. "We've had a long association with them, and we are a member. Since they are an organization that serves park districts, they know everybody in the industry and they work directly with park districts throughout the state."

Powers said proposals for the search firm came in between $11,000 and $40,000, with the IAPD at the lower end.

"Everybody was kind of leery that we picked the low bid," Powers said, "but we felt very strongly that they will do the best job for us."

IAPD will next sit down with the park board to identify the direction it wants to take the search. IAPD will publish the opening throughout the state, and perhaps the country.

"A lot of people within the state knew there was an opening -- they were just waiting for us to pick an agency," Powers said. "When we meet with IAPD, all the details will come out. There's no rush by us. Our most important desire is to find the ideal candidate."

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