By Michele Hardy
On Thursday night Sept. 13, a small group gathered in the community room in Holiday Market in Cool for a candidates’ night involving board seats on Georgetown Divide Recreation District. Larry Ring of the Cool-Pilot Hill Advisory Committee coordinated a night set aside for the community to get a chance to get to know the people and ask them questions before making decisions about elections of the GDRD Board.
Garden Valley/Kelsey representatives to consider for the board seat are Ken Spencer and Patrick Hansen.
Hansen is a seven-year Garden Valley resident, and the parent of two children aged 12, and 9 who are currently active in the GDRD sports programs, 4H and Girl Scouts. He formerly worked in a youth center in Santa Clara and that area’s softball program, as well as in Fulton/El Camino in the Parks and Recreation District. Hansen also was hired by the Greater Sacramento Softball Association to coordinate softball. He has a total of 20 years’ experience in youth recreation. Currently he is a licensed Private Investigator and also works with the City of Sacramento Police Department. “I put my name in the hat to be on the board because my kids are heavily involved in the program,” he said. “I felt that I could bring my recreation experience to the board to improve on an already fantastic district.”
Ken Spencer, a Garden Valley resident for the past 12 years, is serving his third year on the board and is currently chairman. Spencer has been an educator for 24 years, and a coach for 20 years; currently working at Golden Sierra High School. He also is a former member of the Baseball Recreation Board. ”I’ve seen al lot of stuff happen in 3-plus years, I guess we can get into that later,” he said. “I think GDRD does a fantastic job, I’d like to see it continue doing a fantastic job. The board as it is now works well together. Well, not to say that new folks and ideas wouldn’t be something that would be, something that would be welcomed obviously, but I’m a little selfish and I kinda like doin’ what I’m doin’ with the board and I’d like to continue.”
Eric Clark, a 22-year Divide resident, is running unopposed for the Georgetown seat. As a Hewlett Packard employee with a degree in computer systems management, he works out of his home. He’s the parent of two children aged 10 and 16 and has been active with the recreation district as a soccer coach for 10 years and is referee coordinator for the Gold Nugget Soccer Club. Clark also has coached basketball, and T-ball in GDRD. “I’m running for the seat really because I think we have a great recreational district,” he said. “Also because I think we have the ability to do more in the future. I think that we’ve kinda settled things down (for) the next few years. We have to start looking at the 20-year plan; we have to start looking at some of our assets and what can we do to develop. What can we do to develop them in the short term as well as the long-term. Even with a loaded budget that we could potentially start to get people interested in.”
Pilot Hill area residents have a choice for their representative between Kris Syversen and Greg Loop.
Loop is a three-year Pilot Hill resident, and has three children aged 9, 7, and 5. He works as a manager at Intel with a background in electrical engineering. Experience he can bring is in variable project management, multi-year projects and strategic planning, incremental goal setting. Also, he said he has strengths in defining different landing zones for different projects, monitoring those and keeping an eye on the budget, resource and personnel management, people development, and team building. He also listed overseeing capital or big-ticket items, and information management.
“After reading through all the minutes and getting familiar with what’s happened here in the last several years, I am concerned about what’s happening with state grants,” said Loop. “In particular, we pay a lot of state taxes and I think it’s a shame my wife has to take the kids off the hill to El Dorado Hills or Folsom for swim lessons and things like that.”
Incumbent Syversen is a 15-year Pilot Hill resident, currently serving two years of elected experience as a GDRD Board member, with a total of four years service. He is also a board member of the Cool/Pilot Hill Advisory Committee, and a devoted member of Friends of the Bailey House, an organization designed to raise money for restoration and preservation of The Bailey House to relieve the need from the taxpayers.
“My number one concern in regard to the choices before the board is what is best for the community, given financial and legal constraints,” said Syversen. “I am supportive of the missions and goals of the recreation district. I want the divide to have a variety of recreational opportunities that meet the interests of its residents. I have a good knowledge of the local area and the needs of the community due to my residency and community activism. I would like the opportunity to continue working with the board to make progress toward the district mission.”
Candidate for Greenwood, Penny Scribner, running unopposed was absent.
Larry Ring extended thanks to all candidates for getting involved no matter what the outcome of the election. Everyone is encouraged to attend GDRD meetings to be more informed and to have a voice and be heard.