MACOMB — Park Board President John Hemingway told commissioners Tuesday that he would remain on the board through at least mid-2019. He said he wanted to put this on the record in light of upcoming changes in his life that might lead some to make other assumptions.
Hemingway said he would retire as a full-time professor at Western Illinois University at the end of the summer. He said that his wife has accepted a job as an associate dean at Illinois College in Jacksonville.
The board president also commented on a recent Illinois Association of Park Districts legislative conference he attended in Springfield. "The legislators told us there may not be an Illinois capital budget for a few years because of regular budget difficulties," Hemingway said.
Board Treasurer and Commissioner Russ Hamm said monthly income continues to exceed original projections. The board got a similar upbeat report from external auditor Gregg Butler.
Butler said his annual examination of the district books, the 23rd that he has done, resulted in a "clean" audit opinion. "Everything is up except capital outlay because of work at Veterans Park," he said.
The accountant said the park district had a break-even budget for 2017 following a slight loss in 2016. "For the most part, you're living within your means," Butler told commissioners. He said the 2017 audit showed that more donations have been given to the park district.
Park Director Rachel Lenz announced plans to host members of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday and debut the new baseball fields at Veterans Park. She said blues music would be played Thursday at Glenwood Park and on Saturday at Veterans Park.
Lenz said classes in Irish step dancing are again being offered at the West Central Illinois Arts Center. She said Magnolia's Restaurant is supporting the "Push for Parks" campaign for baseball field lighting by offering a special sandwich meal. Lenz said park staff will test the movie screen at Veterans Park on May 25 in preparation for the summer series of movies in the park.
Commissioners also met as the board of the McDonough County Special Recreation Association. Director Kayla Morphey reported that 11 athletes competed in Special Olympics basketball in March and won fourth place in their division.
Morphey said Special Olympics swimming competition was held May 5 and 11 athletes took home 13 gold medals. She said state competition would be held on Sunday, June 17.
The SRA director said Special Olympics baseball practices will be held on Sunday afternoons. Morphey said the association will be included in the Quincy YMCA Buddy Ball T-ball program, with weekly sessions beginning in August.
Morphey reported that a prom event will be held the evening of May 26 at Glenwood Park with possible participation by 40 to 45 people. She said three outdoor camps would be offered in June and July, with each camp being offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a Monday through Thursday.

Reach Patrick Stout by email at pstout@mcdonoughvoice.com.