The Oswegoland Park Board appointed Dave Krahn as the new commissioner at their Thursday night meeting.
Krahn takes over the spot left vacant by previous commissioner Leonard Wass, who left the board in December, who believed the board puts the taxpayer's interest last and was out of touch with community interests.
Wass had over four years left of his six-year term, but Krahn will only remain as commissioner until the 2015 election, said board president Bob Mattingly. At that election the last two years of the seat will be placed on the ballot.
“In spite of what some may think, an individual park board or commissioner does not have the authority to make these rules,” said Mattingly of the appointment procedures.
Mattingly, reading from a statement, said the commissioners were given the method by which a new commissioner was appointed, and opted to meet in closed session so they could “candidly discuss” the strengths as well as weaknesses of each candidate.
Previously the board had used this method when appointing Michael Satlak in October 2010 to fill a seat left vacant by Ken Holmstrom.
“We wanted someone who realized that the park district is essential to the overall welfare of the community,” said Mattingly. “One who has served the community unselfishly in other capacities… and one who recognizes … the big picture.”
After his appointment, Krahn was able to participate in board votes that evening.
“I’ve been interviewing for this job for 6 or 7 years,” said Krahn. “When this spot opened up I have it some serious thought and felt it was a good time to do this.”
Krahn gave some of his own history with the park district, playing baseball in the little league and having a job as a lifeguard at the civic center pool, which he thought then, “was the coolest job in the world.”
He has been very involved in Oswego, serving and helping found the Park Foundation, being a downtown business owner, being a volunteer firefighter and serving on the Village’s Economic Development Corp.
Krahn said he got a “little burned out” and took a few years off, but wanted to be involved and give back now.
“I understand pressures we face at a state level are no different than at the local level,” said Krahn. “We have a lot of people very concerned about costs, taxes, and I hope I can bring some perspective in.”