Like most of us, park administrators have had to rotate in their roles as volunteers for the organization and in their roles as businessmen. Board meetings were spent in person remotely, budgets had to be adjusted and the group had to roll with terms of reference coming and going.
Last month, five directors who served during this tumultuous time were awaiting reappointments and several candidates competed for these positions. Galveston City Council actually re-elected these trustees – Spencer Priest, Will Wright, David Jacoby, Steven Creitz and Jason Worthen. They will join directors Maureen Patton, David Collins, Marty Fluke and Jason Hardcastle.
The list of officers also remains the same. Priest is president, Wright is vice president, and Jacoby will serve another term as secretary. This continuity of leadership, especially as the organization emerges from a pandemic, will help make the park’s board of directors a more effective organization.
The council’s work did not stop during the pandemic. In fact, the administrators and staff of the park’s board of directors have been successful in developing long-term strategic and sustainability plans and securing funding for major improvements and projects, to name a few. .
Now that it looks like Galveston and the rest of the country are heading towards a next normal and the tourism industry is experiencing a strong rebound, the park council has a lot of work to do. The administrators in place can move forward with the institutional knowledge necessary to make prudent decisions with the residents and visitors of the island in mind.
At a recent meeting to formally appoint directors and elect officers, Patton stressed that continuity of leadership on the board is an important trait.
“This group knows the history and has the experience and understanding of what the organization has done and plans to do,” said Patton. “It is important to keep the leaders in place on local boards and committees. I also see it at the national level.
At last month’s city council meeting to nominate trustees, Galveston Mayor Craig Brown praised Priest for his hard work and dedication to the organization, especially during the pandemic.
“I know Spencer has a demanding schedule in the hospitality industry,” Brown said. “As a former administrator myself, I know how much time spends on the park board, and I commend Spencer for his dedication. “
Meetings of the park board are usually held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 601 23rd St. in Galveston.
Mary beth bassett is the director of public relations for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the park board of directors.