Rolling Meadows park director hired for same role in Bartlett

Friday was Rolling Meadows Park District Executive Director Kevin Romejko’s last day on the job, before he takes on a similar role Monday in Bartlett.

Romejko, who spent four years in Rolling Meadows, is replacing longtime Bartlett Park District Executive Director Rita Fletcher, who is retiring.

It marks a return to Bartlett for Romejko, who was the park district’s superintendent of business services for nearly four years before his hiring in Rolling Meadows at the onset of the pandemic.

In Bartlett, he’ll oversee more park space (600 acres versus 150), a larger budget ($16 million versus $9 million), and additional employees (650 part-time and seasonal staff versus 160).

Chief among those responsibilities is management of the 138-acre Villa Olivia golf course, banquet and ski facility, which the park district purchased in 2010 after Fletcher helped steer voter approval of an $18 million borrowing plan. That made Bartlett the only park district in Illinois with a ski hill.

The referendum included money to renovate and expand the Bartlett Aquatic Center.

Fletcher was named Distinguished Professional of the Year by the Great Lakes Network of the National Recreation and Park Association in 2011. She spent nearly her whole career in parks and recreation in Bartlett, where she was hired as a recreation supervisor in 1986. She was promoted to assistant superintendent of recreation in 1996, then superintendent of recreation in 2002, and executive director in 2005.

Bartlett Park District Executive Director Rita Fletcher, from right, received the Distinguished Professional of the Year award from the Great Lakes Network of the National Recreation and Park Association in 2011. She is pictured with park board Commissioner Lori Palmer. Courtesy of Bartlett Park District

Meanwhile in Rolling Meadows, Amy Charlesworth — whose 39-year career with the park district included 17 years as executive director — will return in an interim role and assist the park board in the search for a new park director.

District commissioners have started collecting applications and hope to have a permanent director in place by early July.

Romejko, who recently inked a three-year employment contract in Bartlett, was beginning his second three-year contract in Rolling Meadows before he got the new job.

Last year, he helped secure a $600,000 state grant for renovations to Community Center Park, which will include a Ninja Warrior-style challenge course, fitness court, two pickleball courts, nine-hole miniature golf course and in-ground baggo and ladder ball.

The district got a $312,600 state grant for upgrades to Cardinal Drive Park, where a new inclusive playground and two pickleball courts debuted in 2022.

Also during Romejko’s tenure, the park district and library installed StoryWalk reading displays along the path from Community Center Park to North Salk Park.

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