Former park directors seek forest preserve seat

Former park directors seek forest preserve seat

URBANA — Two former local park district directors are competing for an appointment to a single seat on the Champaign County Forest Preserve District board.

Robin Hall, the former director of the Urbana Park District, and Bobbie Herakovich, recently retired as director of the Champaign Park District, are the only candidates for the one available seat on the five-member forest preserve board.

The seat had belonged to Hall, who originally said he didn't want another term. Then he changed his mind, according to Champaign County Board Chairman Alan Kurtz, who will announce his choice for the position at tonight's county board committee of the whole meeting (6:30 p.m., Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., Urbana).

"He at the last minute decided to change his mind after he recommended her," Kurtz said. "Isn't that weird? He recommended her for the job and then changed his mind and ran against her."

Asked who he intended to appoint, Kurtz said, "I will announce that (Tuesday) night."

But he noted that Herakovoich "is phenomenal. Her resume is 10 pages long, in terms of forest preserve issues and sustainability and those types of issues.

"They both have excellent resumes. It's a nice problem to have, that you finally have some applicants here to do the job. It makes it a little more difficult for me but that's why I get paid the big bucks."

Neither Herakovich nor Hall could immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Hall, who was executive director of the Urbana Park District for 33 years, has been on the forest preserve district board for four years. He serves as the board treasurer an is president of the forest preserve district foundation board.

Herakovich was executive director of the Champaign Park District from 2001 until January 2014. Before that, she was a city administrator in Farmer City and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; the director of parks and recreation in Palm Beach Gardens; and was on the staff of the Urbana Park District, under Hall, from 1973-92.

Also tonight, county board members are scheduled to discuss a proposal to merge the county recorder's office into the county clerk's office. The board could put the question before voters in the November general election.

But a debate last month showed there was little support for the idea, particularly among Republicans.

Kurtz said Monday, "There seems to be a waning interest in wanting to combine them. I'm getting the feeling that it won't be placed on the ballot this fall."