Urbana Park District Advisory Committee (UPDAC)
UPDAC is a citizen’s advisory committee formed by the Urbana Park District Board of Commissioners in 1971. UPDAC members serve in an advisory and informative capacity to the Board of Commissioners and to the citizens of the district. The group studies issues that are of importance to the park district and helps the board and staff to make decisions that are in the best interest of the district and its residents.
UPDAC members are chosen for appointment to the committee based on their interest in UPD issues, and their ability and willingness to represent their neighborhood. Each member is also chosen based on geography. Ideally, the commissioners would like to have the membership of UPDAC reflect Urbana as a whole, with representation from all areas of the district.
- Promote citizen awareness of the desirability of good parks and recreation with adequate financial support and to encourage community understanding of Park District problems and needs.
- Interpret to the public the goals and needs of the park system and to interpret to the Board the concerns of the public about park and recreation problems.
- Study continuously the needs of the District and the effects of the district programs currently in operation.
- Identify park problems, either independently or at the suggestion of the Board, to study them by collection and evaluating facts, and to present such information to the Board together with suitable recommendations and requests for oral or written report of action taken.
- Accept policy study assignments from the Board for early report and recommendation and to make independent policy studies resulting in recommendations to the Board.
- Work with the Board, the staff and the citizens to implement programs and policies. which have the mutual support of both the Board and the UPDAC.
Meetings are once a month for 10 months of the year, at 7pm on the fourth Tuesday.
Topics of discussion at each meeting are chosen by both staff and UPDAC members (especially the current chairperson) based on the current scope of work of the district. Meetings are generally one and a half hours each month (except July and December) and some members might put in additional time in sub-committee meetings are attending Board meetings. UPDAC members are asked to bring comments and concerns from their neighbors/neighborhood to each meeting to keep a line of communication open from the public to the district administration.
Over the years, UPDAC has provided advice and input into a number of developments and programs/directions that the park district has undertaken. Most recently, UDPAC was extremely involved and important to the referendum that was passed by the Urbana Park District in 2008. The referendum allowed for an increase in the tax rate for the UPD that made it possible for the UPD to make improvements and maintain its level of service. UDPAC members helped the board and staff to craft a message that clearly communicated the districts needs to their residents and helped to pass the referendum.
Since its inception, UPDAC has been a training ground for members who have become more interested and eventually chose to run for election as a park district commissioner. Their background with and experience on UPDAC has made them better commissioners and more fully aware of the operation of and responsibilities of the district and its operation. UPDAC has become a very critical component in the planning and operation of the park district.
APPLY FOR UPDAC
Urbana Park District residents 18 and older are encouraged to apply to be on the advisory committee. Download an application. Questions? Contact Ellen Kirsanoff.