After being awarded a plaque and given a handshake by Dickinson Park & Recreational Board President Scott Kovash, KC Homiston and Brad Fong formally left their positions as members of the Dickinson Park & Recreation board before welcoming Zach Keller and Jo Marie Kadrmas as the new board members.

“I want to thank (Homiston) for his four years of service, (Fong) for two, it’s just nice to have people run for public office because it seems to be getting harder and harder,” Scott Kovash, Dickinson Park & Recreation Board President, said. “It really is, in essence, a donation to the community; I think it’s just awesome that you guys did it and I appreciate it and I think the rest of the board appreciate it.”

Fong gave a few words of gratitude to his former board members and colleagues before giving some advice to the two newcomers.

“I appreciate it, it’s been a good experience,” Fong said. “When you get into a position like this is you want to leave the club or the organization in better shape than it was when you inherited it. And that’s the bottom line. … I’m really pleased to have served for two years.”

From there, Homiston and Fong motioned for the meeting to be adjourned so both Keller and Kadrmas could be sworn in as new members. After being sworn in as board commissioners, Kovash was voted to continue being park board president, followed by Tim Daniel being named to continue being the Dickinson Park & Recreation board vice president.

Kovash gave some advice to the new board members, about their new roles and responsibilities as being part of the board while welcoming them as official board members.

“It’s very different than I think what most people think about,” Kovash said. “So we’re glad to have you on board, it’s always exciting to have new faces and new ideas.”

Following the meeting, Keller and Kadrmas both mentioned the warm welcoming by the board and how smooth the transition has been leading up to Friday’s meeting. Both also expressed how grateful they are to have the public being comfortable in expressing their thoughts and ideas.

“You definitely have people reaching out that are either just congratulating you, excited for you, which is a nice feeling,” Keller said. “Then you have people starting to share their ideas, which I think is kind of useful … getting elected you’re able to talk to more people about items that they’re passionate about and things they feel are important to the community and to the park system. “That has been kind of fun to have some of those conversations already.”

Kadrmas stated added on to Keller’s statement by adding how the public was expressing their thoughts and ideas, even prior to the election.

“During campaigning, I was surprised with how many people reached out with ideas and suggestions,” Kadrmas said. “They continue to and I encourage that. That is part of our jobs, bringing ideas to the table and sharing them with James (Kramer, the executive director of Dickinson Parks & Recreation), and the rest of the board. I would want the public to know that, that is something that I welcome. I really am interested in their thoughts, both positive and negative, and hearing their ideas.”

For the two new members, both are looking forward to benefiting the Dickinson community. With Kadrmas having a health and wellness background of nearly 20 years, and Keller who grew up in Dickinson and is now raising his own children within the community, both want nothing more than to carry out a positive impact on the Dickinson community that will continue in the years and events to come.

Both Kadrmas and Keller expressed their gratitude for campaigning alongside Eric Kittelson and Jeremy Easum and praising them for making the campaigning and election a very competitive, but fun, experience.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity for Mary Jo and I to get the shot to do this and I know it’s an important position and I’m excited to give it our all,” Keller said. “But I know that everyone was excited and dedicated to this cause.”

Kadrmas added on to that statement by saying:

“We had four great candidates run and it’s very humbling. It's an honor to serve and I came in with the position where you’re serving the public, it’s not for self-serving purposes, we’re here to represent other people and collaborate and support the staff with Park & Rec, I can’t wait to get started.”

Both Kadrmas and Keller will have their first official meeting of Dickinson Park & Rec Board business on Monday, July 13 at 4 p.m.