Tom Busby to succeed Mike Brottman as Elk Grove park director
For the past decade, Tom Busby has been responsible for handling the Elk Grove Park District's finances. Now, he's been chosen to take over the top spot in the district, overseeing day-to-day operations as park director.
The park board announced Wednesday that Busby will succeed Mike Brottman as the district's executive director on Feb. 27. Brottman is stepping down after 10 years at the helm of the Elk Grove Park District and a total of 33 years working in parks and recreation.
At 55, Brottman says he's not retiring for good and plans to pursue "private ventures." He says he's not leaving Elk Grove to go to another park district.
Busby, the district's director of business services, was chosen over 15 other candidates who applied for the park director job. The park board conducted interviews during closed session meetings with four local and two out-of-state candidates before coming to a consensus, said park board President Tom Cooke.
"I think we have someone who's a known quantity. He's done an excellent job for us, not only in finance, but he's backed up Mike when Mike's been gone," Cooke said. "We thought when we looked at it, he would be continuing on with our current direction."
Busby has spent about 25 years working for park districts -- mainly in their business offices -- including the Wheeling Park District, McHenry County Conservation District and Rock River Water Reclamation District.
In Elk Grove, Busby has overseen a financial department that has won the Government Finance Officers Association Excellence in Financial Reporting award for 10 consecutive years. The district's bond rating has also improved from Aa3 to Aaa.
Brottman joined the Elk Grove Park District in 2005 after spending the previous 10 years as park director in Wood Dale. He's overseen a number of facility projects, including renovations to the Pavilion Aquatics Center and Fox Run Golf Links and Clubhouse, and construction of Rainbow Falls Waterpark and a maintenance facility.
"It's easy to point to brick and mortar projects ... but quite honestly my biggest accomplishment to this point right now is recognizing when it's time to turn to somebody new with new ideas and new ways of doing things," Brottman said.
Cooke praised Brottman for developing relationships with intergovernmental partners such as the village and school districts.
Cooke said Busby will be in charge of the park district's next big project: renovations to the Community Athletic Fields at Arlington Heights Road and Devon Avenue. Initial plans call for new bathrooms and concession stands, and field irrigation. There's also been discussion of adding field turf, and even an indoor facility, but much of the project's future depends on whether the district is awarded grants, Cooke said.
The project is estimated to cost between $1.5 million and $3.5 million.
Busby and the park board are negotiating a four-year contract, which will be voted on at the board's next meeting Feb. 12. Cooke said he did not know what Busby's new salary would be. Busby will be responsible for hiring his replacement in the business office.