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Park District of Highland Park Resignations

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The front page of the July 31, 2010 Chicago Tribune exposed mismanagement in the Park District of Highland Park. Community pressure forced 3 of the 5 Board members to resign. Due to their active involvement in the same activities, remaining Park District of Highland Park Commissioners Cal Bernstein and Elaine Waxman have also misused tax payers’ money and have failed in their responsibility to the community. We feel Bernstein and Waxman must resign as the other three commissioners who misused tax payers’ money have.


  • Bernstein and Waxman breached their fiduciary duty to the taxpayers by approving excessive compensation to disgraced Finance Director Kenneth Swan (board approved the financing by a unanimous 5-0 vote).
  • Bernstein and Waxman were disingenuous about not being part of the excessive compensation scheme, as exposed in the Highland Park News (9/23/10). Bernstein and Waxman joined the rest of the embattled board in May 2010 in backing two $15,000 NET bonuses for Swan. In reality, the $15,000 NET bonuses cost the PDHP $26,375 each.
  • Bernstein and Waxman were disingenuous about having any part in the pension-spiking controversy. Highland Park News (9/23/10) reported that both Bernstein and Waxman approved $76,000 in bonuses to Swan – in addition to his approximate $140,000 salary.
  • Bernstein and Waxman authorized payments of $76,000 in 2008, 2009 and 2010 to Swan for performance which included “orderly transition of Swan’s position to a successor” even though a successor was never hired nor was the job opening ever posted by the Park District.
  • Bernstein and Waxman failed to expose fiscal mismanagement by prior HP Park District Boards when discovering that previous boards approved other excessive and outrageous employment contracts – outgoing executive Ralph Volpe received $435,203; David Harris $339,302; and Ken Swan $218,372. Both Volpe and Harris also received Park District vehicles as compensation. Bernstein (an attorney) and Waxman had the legal and financial experts at their disposal to have asked questions and spoken up about what would become a national embarrassment. 

Our community’s activeness and dedication has successfully seen three Park Board members' and the finance director's resignations. Highland Park citizens have a right to an honest, accountable board which will protect our tax dollars, assume fiscal responsibility and fiduciary duties.

The undersigned below, Highland Park residents, demand the resignations of Park District of Highland Park Commissioners Cal Bernstein and Elaine Waxman.


Highland Park Citizens


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