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Palo steps down from SK Parks Board

South Kitsap Parks and Recreation Commissioner John Palo officially resigned from the Board of Commissioners Thursday after accepting a job that requires him to move his family to the suburbs of Salt Lake City.

“If the career opportunities were the same (in South Kitsap), I’d probably stay,” said Palo, who made it clear his recent feelings toward the board had nothing to do with his decision.

Palo will leave for Utah on Monday with his family to follow after “wrapping things up here.”

Palo, who turned in his official letter of resignation at Thursday night’s master planning meeting, said he hopes the board continues on its recent momentous path.

“I hope whatever we all got started continues to move forward and doesn’t get postponed,” Palo said.

Palo said the board still has a quorum, meaning commissioners can still hold official meetings even without the presence of a fifth board member and there should be no reason to put anything on hold. As for his prediction as to who will replace him, he looks to the rotary.

“The Rotary came forward prior to the election...I expect to see some Rotary members apply,” Palo said. “It’s time to put up or shut up.”

Regardless, Palo leaves what he’s learned on the board as suggestions for the next commissioner. “I recommend it to someone who has time and the ability to relieve stress,” he said. “I came into it with a different perspective than many of the people on the board. I ended up treating it more like a business than a government agency. I don’t see pubic funding of that park in the foreseeable future.”

Palo said he most regrets not being able to participate in the upcoming negotiations between the board and Annapolis Water District.

“When I came in there were so many loose ends,” he said. “I’m going to miss (out on) that negotiation with the water district.”

However, Palo said he is confident his former fellow commissioners can negotiate successfully on behalf of the parks district, noting, “The rest of the board has the same (data) I have.”

“It kind of came out of the blue,” said Board Chair Larry Walker. “It kind of came as a surprise.”

Walker said it is important to the park’s well-being to take time to bring a new commissioner up to speed.

“I imagine it will be as smooth as possible because everyone is well up to speed,” Walker said. “It may delay some projects a smidgen, but not extraordinarily.”

The board will immediately be accepting applications to fill Palo’s vacancy. To download an application form visit http://skparks.org/.

“I would like to thank (Palo) for his service to the community and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Walker concluded. “He will be missed.”

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