Naperville Park Board Commissioner Faces Backlash over Social Media Use

Naperville Park Board Commissioner
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Several Naperville park board officials are taking issue with the social media use of Commissioner Josh McBroom. So much so, their concerns aired at Thursday’s park board meeting have prompted an investigation into whether he’s violated board policy.

What’s the Issue?

A post shared recently in a private Facebook group shows McBroom speaking out of turn about executive director Ray McGury’s stance on masking indoors.

“100 ray is beyond fed up with all of this,” McBroom wrote. “This is all on 5 commissioners, 4 just elected.”

McBroom also came under fire for reacting in a disparaging way about the district’s five female commissioners.

In another recent Facebook post , McBroom stated, “… should be a requirement of board members who support this to play a full court basketball game masked up.”

Another Facebook user chimed in, saying “that’s a great idea .. but I’ve seen those gals and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.”

The thread goes on to show McBroom responded to that comment by using a laughing emoji.

Public Backlash

Board Vice President Mary Gibson initiated the discussion, saying she is concerned about McBroom’s social media use and and his adherence to the board’s code of conduct.

“I think there are several issues here that are in direct conflict with our code of conduct, in particular with communication and involvement with outside groups that interferes with ongoing administrative activity by staff, specifically implying gross insubordination by our executive director without a shred of evidence, also publicly undermining the implementation of majority decisions of the board and just in general, I think, publicly body shaming fellow commissioners is inconsistent with our expectations of board member conduct,” Gibson said.

McBroom tried to set the record straight, saying he acknowledges where his faults are.

“As far as executive director Ray McGury goes, you’re 100% right,” McBroom said. “I shouldn’t be speaking for him. I don’t know what’s going on in his head. So, I apologize to him for that.”

But McBroom stopped short of a full apology to the board for his comments.

“That was not my intention,” he said. “It’s not something I said. I responded quickly to a comment. … I apologize if someone thought I was directly body shaming. That’s not what I was doing. I would never do that. Laugh emoji on a comment that I just went by quickly. But as far as putting a post out there, I will not take that back.”

Not everyone accepted McBroom’s apology.

Commissioner Rhonda Ansier said she supports an inquiry into possible violation of park board policy.

“It’s not about being woke or canceling or whatever buzz words people want to throw out there anytime somebody wants to tell someone that you need to be accountable for your words and actions when they are unprofessional and when they are harmful,” Ansier said. “And saying I apologize if I offend someone is not really an apology.”

Moving Forward

Ultimately, the board reached a consensus, directing the district’s attorney to initiate an inquiry.

Derke Price, the park district’s attorney, said he will look into the concerns raised by several park board commissioners and report back on his findings

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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