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Former Texas State Senator A.R. “Babe” Schwartz, a founder of the Galveston Park Board, said he envisioned the trustees had to be truly be representative of the best our community had to offer. More than 50 years later, the Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston remains comprised of devoted citizens with a vision to make the island a better place for visitors and residents alike.
Here’s a glimpse at who the trustees are, how they are appointed and what is expected of them.
In keeping with Schwartz’s vision, the Park Board is comprised of a diverse group of Galveston citizens and local business owners. They represent many areas of expertise allowing them to contribute to the various projects the Park Board is tasked with – from beach nourishment to tourism development. Together, they make decisions on purchasing equipment, human resources policies, supporting special events, concessionaire agreements and much more.
Spencer Priest, Revenue Manager for Landry’s Inc. is the Park Board Chairman. Vice Chair John Zendt is the C.E.O. of Moody Gardens. Others who serve are Dr. Victor Viser professor at Texas A&M Galveston, Maureen Patton, Director of The Grand 1894 Opera House, Will Wright, Creative Officer for the Galveston Historical Foundation, Steven Creitz, Operations Manager at Mitchell Historic Properties, Jason Worthen, local business owner and Jan Inlow-Collier, Manager at Rudy & Paco Restaurants, Inc.
To ensure open lines of communication with city staff and council, a council member also serves as a voting trustee. Dr. Craig Brown fulfills that role.
The Galveston City Council appoints the nine-member board.
Anyone interested in becoming a trustee can pick up an application from City Hall. Appointments are made each June. Applicants are interviewed prior to the appointment process and are encouraged to attend a Park Board orientation program to ensure they know what is expected of them.
Trustees can serve no more than three two-year terms. After that, they must remain off the board for at least a year to be considered again.
Trustees are expected to come to monthly meetings prepared to make decisions on agenda items. In addition to attending the monthly board meetings, trustees are expected to serve as a representative of at least one of the organization’s advisory committees: Beach Maintenance, Tourism Development, East End Lagoon, Finance and Operations or Parks and Amenities. These committees also meet at least once each month. Trustees also represent the Park Board at numerous community and industry events. It’s estimated that these volunteer board members dedicate more than 20 hours per month to Park Board work.
Park board meetings are typically held on the fourth Tuesdays of the month at 1:30 p.m. at 601 23rd St.