Who We Are
The Portage Park District was formed by the action of the Portage County Commissioners in 1991 as an independent government agency. It is overseen by an unpaid, five-member Board of Park Commissioners appointed by County Probate Judge according to Ohio Revised Code 1545.
Meet your Park Board
The Portage Park District has been very fortunate since its inception to have high quality leaders to serve as Park Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners of the Park District is appointed by the County Probate Judge Thomas Carnes. The 5 members of the Board are responsible for the governance of the Park District and serve as volunteers for a renewable 3-year term. Because the Portage Park District’s funding and staff are limited, the Board members have taken on additional roles, pitching in regularly where needed to get the job done. Current Board members include Gary Cross, Betsy Tomasko Garner, Allan Orashan, and Jim Tucker.
Gary, a retired Superintendent for Cleveland Metroparks, brings over 30 years of park district experience to our development and operations projects. Cleveland Metroparks is nationally recognized as one of the outstanding large park systems. A woodworker, Gary has also contributed to the construction of signs and kiosks.
Allan has a long history associated with the park system, being the first County Parks Department Director whose job included overseeing the development of Towner’s Woods Park in the 70’s. Allan is now a realtor who provides his expertise for planning and acquiring land for the Park District.
Betsy is a practicing attorney and an active member of Aurora Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and Schools foundation. She is a current member of the Aurora Conservation Council and very active in community affairs.