DeKALB – A retired park district director from St. Charles will lead the DeKalb Park District until a permanent director can be hired in May, the park board decided Wednesday.
Board members unanimously supported hiring Ray Ochromowicz, 58, of St. Charles, to be the part-time interim director. Ochromowicz will be paid $5,438 a month for working 20 to 25 hours a week until the board can hire a permanent executive director.
The board also approved an annual salary range of $110,000 to $120,000 for the new permanent executive director, who will be required to live within park district boundaries. An updated job description that stresses communication, goal setting, teamwork and financial knowledge will be posted in the coming days.
Ochromowicz said he will not apply to permanently fill the role that was vacated when Cindy Capek resigned in May because he is not looking for a full-time position.
“I’m here to keep things floating until the new director is in place,” Ochromowicz said. “I look at it like I’m here to help.”
Ochromowicz retired from the St. Charles Park District in August after serving as director since January 2011. Before he joined the St. Charles Park District, he had a brief stint with the Park Ridge Park District, which was preceded by 23 years at the Bolingbrook Park District.
According to Park Board President Phil Young, Ochromowicz was recruited and presented to the board by the Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the search firm the board engaged in November to find the new executive director.
“I think he’s a good character,” Young said. “I think it’s good to get someone from the outside to look at things.”
About a year will have passed between Capek’s last day and the time a new director is hired, but board member Per Faivre said the decision to hire an outside interim director was not based on the timeframe.
“This option would have been presented to us whenever we hired a search firm, and I think it’s an opportunity we had to seize,” Faivre said. “It’s hard to see the condition of your roof from the inside of your house.”
The board Wednesday also moved to suspend the stipends for assistant directors Lisa Wells Small and Bradley Garrison, who were receiving $1,250 and $600 a month, respectively, for the extra work they have been doing. Previous information provided by Young incorrectly had put their stipends at $1,400 and $700 monthly.