Des Plaines park commissioner resigns in May, gets hired by district in June

  • Des Plaines Park District Executive Director Don Miletic, left, presents a certificate of election to then-Commissioner Joe Weber in 2015. Weber stepped down from the park board this spring and was hired shortly thereafter by the district as its new superintendent of recreation.

    Des Plaines Park District Executive Director Don Miletic, left, presents a certificate of election to then-Commissioner Joe Weber in 2015. Weber stepped down from the park board this spring and was hired shortly thereafter by the district as its new superintendent of recreation. Courtesy of Des Plaines Park District, May 2015

 
 
Updated 7/9/2019 6:06 AM

A longtime Des Plaines Park District board member and one-time board president stepped down from his elected position in May, only to be hired by the district as its superintendent of recreation.

Joe Weber, who spent a decade as an elected parks commissioner, resigned from the board so he could apply for the administrative role that became available when Nick Troy left to take a similar position with the neighboring Mount Prospect Park District.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Weber, a Des Plaines native, spent nearly 14 years working in Leyden Township's parks and recreation department, including the last 1 years as its director. He was one of five people interviewed for the $90,000-a-year Des Plaines job, which was advertised externally, according to Don Miletic, the park district's executive director.

Miletic said Deputy Director Paul Cathey and the district's human resources manager conducted interviews and made the hiring decision. Weber started his new job in June.

"They felt he would be able to run with operations and move things quicker and faster than the other (job finalist)," said Miletic, adding that Weber is "well qualified" with 14 years of experience in the field. "I'm happy for that because he's going to be a tremendous asset for Des Plaines."

As a commissioner, Weber was one of five unpaid board members responsible for setting policy and overseeing Miletic. Now, as an employee, Weber will report to Cathey, who reports to Miletic. Weber, with a staff of 10 people, is responsible for handling day-to-day operations of the district's recreation offerings.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"One of the challenges when the position came up and I decided to step down as a board member was I knew there was a good chance there was going to be real good competition and talent coming for interviews, and that I may not be part of the Des Plaines Park District directly through boardmanship or as a professional," Weber said. "And that was a tough pill to swallow."

But he says he believes his experience in the parks and recreation field and knowing the Des Plaines Park District in particular prepared him for the role.

Last week, the district filled another administrative position with the hiring of Paul Guza as superintendent of parks and planning. Guza, who has worked for the Norridge and Arlington Heights park districts, replaces Corrie Guynn, who left for the Skokie Park District last month.

The Des Plaines park board met last week to review nine applications from people who applied for Weber's board seat. The board is expected to conduct interviews and make a selection by the end of the month.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.