Continuing the JCPRD tradition of supporting staff as they provide exceptional service is a goal of the 2021 chair of the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners.
We are blessed to offer premier programming, experiences, and spaces, whether indoor or outdoor to meet everyone’s needs,” said Leslee Rivarola of Lenexa. “As stewards of public resources, I’m proud of what we accomplish within the dollars allocated.”
This has become especially important in these times of COVID-19, she added.
“I believe our greatest challenge is to continue to find ways to support the community during these challenging times,” Rivarola said. “Our parks, trails, before and after-school care programs became a place of certainty for so many during a time filled with concern. I’m particularly proud of how the staff of JCPRD quickly adapted to ensure families could return to work, enjoy the outdoors, throughout our parks and facilities.”
In addition to serving as board chair for the coming year, Rivarola has also been appointed by the BOCC to serve on the 2021 Charter Commission, which is empowered to conduct comprehensive studies of any or all phases of county government operations. Within a year, a report of the 2021 Charter Commission’s findings must be presented to the BOCC. The commission’s recommendations may include suggested changes in the administration of the county government, programs, and activities. It may also include proposed amendments to the current Home Rule Charter.
Rivarola has served as the fifth district’s representative to the JCPRD board since mid-2015. In her professional life, she currently serves as city administrator for Basehor, Kan., a small city in Leavenworth, County. She also owns a small consulting business focusing on helping small cities and public utilities with a variety of projects. She holds a master’s degree in public administration, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration, and has previously worked in code enforcement, public works, and city administration.
A native of Kansas City, Kan., Rivarola and her family have lived in Johnson County for about eight years. Her husband, Martin Rivarola, works at the Mid-America Regional Council and previously worked in local government in Johnson County. Between them, they have what she referred to as a “Brady Bunch style family” consisting of six children ranging in age from six to 22.
Other 2021 Officers
Other board officers
for 2021 elected during the board’s December meeting are: Heather Rubesch, vice chair; Bob Carlson, secretary; Steve Baru, treasurer; George J. Schlagel, assistant secretary; Kevin Fern, assistant treasurer; Dan Forgy, board member; and Board of County Commissioners Board Member Jeff Meyers.
“The JCPRD board is comprised of individuals who collectively give their time, talent, experience and passion to serve the public,” Rivarola said. “We are a diverse group who do not always agree, but work hard to be thoughtful and considerate of each other while expressing our thoughts and ideas. I’m proud to serve on this board, and I appreciate the opportunity.”