Two additional members of the Metroparks Board of Park Commissioners, Kevin Dalton and Molly Luetke, were sworn in Thursday morning by Judge Jack Puffenberger in Lucas County Probate Court. Current board president Scott Savage was sworn to a fifth term on Friday.
At their last meeting, current members Savage, Lera Doneghy and Fritz Byers voted to expand the board from three to five members to increase capacity and expand representation in the community. Judge Puffenberger, who appoints members to the volunteer board, said he believes the members he selected will do just that.
Kevin Dalton, who taught first grade for 15-years before being elected president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers, representing 3,500 educators, is a Jerusalem Township native and current resident. Judge Puffenberger said having a representative of the eastern part of the county is important because of Metroparks recent addition of Howard Marsh and future plans for the former Marina District. He also said it is important to represent organized labor.
Dalton holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Toledo.
Molly Luetke, a 2006 graduate of Bowling Green State University, will provide a younger perspective on the board, the judge said.
“We always talk about brain drain and keeping our young people here, I think it’s time that, instead of complaining about it, we start listening to them by appointing younger people to important boards so their voices can be heard.” Luetke is lead of accounts at Madhouse Creative in Toledo.
Dalton was appointed to a two-year term and Luetke to a one-year term, to stagger the terms of office. In the future, both seats will be appointed to three-year terms, like the existing members.
Scott Savage joined in the board in 2007, but his service to the park district began in 2002 when he co-chaired a levy campaign to purchase additional parkland. Passage of the levy, with two-thirds of the vote, sparked an unprecedented period of growth, from about 7,500 to 12,000 acres, and from nine to 16 parks. Three more parks are various stages of development.
Luetke and Dalton are the 24th and 25th people appointed to the board since Metroparks was established.