Soccer team

A Bend Park & Recreation District soccer team at Harmon Park in Bend. 

The board of the Bend Park & Recreation District must find a replacement after board member Lauren Sprang has announced her resignation.

What’s the right way to fill the position?

The park district says the law dictates that it must fill the position with an appointment. It can’t hold an election. State law also dictates if the board can’t reach agreement about who to appoint, the decision would fall to the Deschutes County Commission.

The park district board is a very important one for Bend. So if you are interested in serving your community, this is a way you can make an impact.

The district manages more than 3,000 acres, according to its website. It has more than 80 parks and natural areas. It has about 70 miles of trails and hundreds of full-time and part-time employees. It makes a profound difference in providing opportunities for children and adults to recreate in so many ways. And it works to make those opportunities available to everyone, providing scholarships so children of all family incomes may participate.

If you looked at a property tax bill recently, you will know it manages a lot of public money, as well. The operating budget for this fiscal year is $27 million. The board makes decisions about how much to charge for system development fees for parks, the structure of those fees and planning for the district’s future.

Serving on the park district board means much more of a commitment than showing up for what are typically bimonthly meetings. There is homework and sometimes there are other meetings.

The district told us “applications will be accepted from Nov. 23 to Dec. 10. Finalists will be selected and invited to present short presentations at the Jan. 7” board meeting before an appointment is confirmed.

The best thing to happen would be for so many great candidates to apply that it’s a tough decision for the board. So start thinking if you could be one of those people.

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