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Helpenstell selected to fill parks board vacancy

Mark Helpenstell is the new South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District board member.

Parks board president Don Wood said the selection was based on Helpenstell's passion for South Whidbey's parks.

"Mark seemed to bring some enthusiasm to the board," Wood said. "He's very familiar with the community with both the soccer program and Boy Scouts."

He will officially replace Linda Kast in October. Kast resigned her position after moving out of the district to Coupeville. Her last board meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Two men applied for the position. The other, Dave Parent, was also highly qualified, Wood said.

"Both Mark and Dr. Dave Parent are outstanding candidates," Wood said. "It was a very tough decision."

The parks board will draft its 2012 budget in October. Helpenstell's appointment was timely so the new board member can be part of the decisions, though there may not be many changes.

"I'm sure Mark will definitely want to look over the budget proposal," Wood said. "Unfortunately, as I explained to Mark yesterday, we're hoping the parks budget process will be fairly easy. The downside of that is it's because there isn't a whole lot of money."

Another commissioner will change next year. Joel Gerlach and Jean Streitler are vying for commissioner Position 4.

Allison Tapert, the current position 4 commissioner, is not running for reelection.

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