Plus, “Passing of the Gavel” ceremony for 2023 Board Officers
By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, Public Affairs, East Bay Regional Park District
The East Bay Regional Park District held a swearing-in ceremony for four newly elected Board members during its January 17, 2023 Board of Directors meeting with Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and one of the District’s longest serving employees delivering the oaths of office.
New Directors Olivia Sanwong for Ward 5 and John Mercurio for Ward 6, along with Director Colin Coffey in his second term representing Ward 7 were sworn in by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier who was also recognized for his many contributions to the Park District. Director Dennis Waespi in his third term for Ward 3 was sworn in by Karen McClendon, a Park District employee with over 38 years of service who remains a stalwart in the District.
In a ceremonial “passing of the gavel”, outgoing Board President Coffey handed the leadership role to the new Board President, Director Waespi. President Waespi and the Board of Directors expressed appreciation to Director Coffey for his leadership over the past year. Waespi was elected to the Board in 2014 and served as board president in 2018.
“I am honored to serve as the Board President for 2023,” said new Board President Dennis Waespi. “As Board President, I intend to continue advancing the Park District’s mission of providing parks, shorelines, and trails for safe and healthful recreation and environmental education, while preserving natural wildlife habitat and natural and cultural resources.”
The Board officers named for 2023 are Vice President Elizabeth Echols, Treasurer Ellen Corbett, and Secretary Dee Rosario.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.