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DeKalb Park District Board appoints and swears in new commissioner

DeKALB – Patricia Perkins, a native of DeKalb and a Northern Illinois University retiree, said she first learned how to swim in Hopkins Park and continues to use the various parks within the community.

This love of the community was one of the reason’s she applied for the open seat on the DeKalb Park District board.

After a roughly monthlong search, the appointment of Perkins as the board’s fifth commissioner was approved without opposition during Thursday’s meeting.

After the vote, Perkins was sworn in as a board member.

“I think the park district enhances the quality of life for the city’s citizens,” she said. “This affords me an opportunity to contribute back to my hometown that I love dearly.”

Perkins replaces Bryant Irving, who stepped down from the board in January because of health problems. She said she is unclear whether she will also fill Bryant’s duties as board treasurer.

Having been retired for four years, Perkins said she feels as if she has time to commit to this role.

“Working at NIU, I understand organizations and organizational skills,” Perkins said. “In my last job with the university, I did campus planning and project management, so I think that maybe gives me some insight into the board.”

Perkins’ appointment required three of the four board members’ approval. President Phil Young and Commissioners Dag Grada and Keith Nyquist all voted for her appointment. Dean Holliday was not present.

The search process for a new commissioner began in March, where commissioners had hoped to appoint a new member by the time of the April 4 consolidated election.

Applicants to the unpaid position were recommended to have lived in DeKalb for at least a year, be willing to the serve the public and preferably have experience in an elected position.

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