Wildwood winners working on time machine, sort of
Anna Nelson and Dave Rupp are longtime Wildwood area residents yearning for a return to the way things used to be.
After Tuesday’s election earned them an average of 36 percent of the vote each, the pair will get the chance to do something about it when they start their terms on the Wildwood Park District Board.
Nelson and Rupp defeated Becky Jante, effectively putting their plan of rebuilding the area’s parks and restoring all of their recreational activities in motion.
“I’ve lived here 25 years; my kids have benefited from being here,” Nelson told the DuPage Policy Journal. “The parks and lakes are our gems, and we need to get back to those days. They’ve been missing for a while now.”
It’s a plan Rupp insists he’s more than ready to embrace. He previously served two terms -- six years -- on the board and is on record as saying he ran again after being pained by how off-course he thought things had become.
Nelson vows that upkeep will again become the order of the day, with boats being repaired, park benches restored and park lawns regularly trimmed -- as they once were.
“We need to take a good look at the budget and see where things are,” she said. “Right now, that’s the most pressing thing. From there, we can start to allocate funds as need be.”
Rupp said at one point, things got so bad following a string of questionable, board-authorized credit card expenditures that he openly wondered if corruption was involved.
“It was so out of control there may have been some reimbursements for things that weren’t even purchased,” he said.
Then there’s the issue of whether funds collected for one expense were being used for another.
“Money that went for boat ramps was transferred to the general fund,” he said. “That money is only to be used in the area it was collected for.”
But now Nelson and Rupp vow those days are over, as are the instances they point to in which they are convinced residents were grossly shortchanged in the services they received.
“I think the message this election sends is that residents are calling on us to sincerely work to make sure our parks are usable again and that they have the kind of activities we all can partake of and enjoy,” she said.