Sue Bertram of Flossmoor, a member of the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board of trustees for 23 years, said her last meeting will be in January 2016.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, Bertram said “it’s been a really great run” but she will step down to spend more time with her husband, Jack, who retired three years ago. The couple will travel and spend time in Florida where their daughter, Jackie, and her family live.
She decided to announce her resignation now so that the board can find a replacement who can take her seat months before the next election.
“I hope you will find someone who cares about our parks and programs,” she told her fellow trustees, hinting it would be nice to have a Flossmoor resident take her seat, although that’s not a requirement.
Bertram’s name appears on numerous dedication plaques. During her tenure, the H-F Park Board built its administrative building, two buildings at Irons Oaks and the H-F Racquet Club, developed Patriots and Millennium Parks, a sports complex at James Hart Junior High in Homewood and purchased the former Cherry Hills Golf Course developing it as Coyote Run Golf Course.
Bertram’s daughter played softball in Flossmoor and Bertram was the Flossmoor Baseball secretary who reserved the park district fields. She said one of her first direct interactions with the park board was trying to get bathrooms at the parks.
At the time, Bertram was the Amoco Fellow at Governors State University working on her master’s in public administration degree.
But it was really the board’s attempts to purchase Cherry Hills that got her to seek elected office. Her expertise from having served on various boards was helpful when the park board ended up in a nearly decade-long fight with the golf course owners who first said they wouldn’t sell.
Years later the owners said the course was being sold for development, which brought the possible purchase back before the park board. An ongoing legal battle led to the seller arguing about the property’s appraised value presented by the park board.
“It was a real mess,” Bertram recalls. “And the board was very split.”
With that project behind it, the board regrouped and has continued its outstanding work for the community, she said.
“Our programs have to evolve because the needs of the community continue to change. This is a wonderful place to be and we have dedicated staff,” Bertram noted.