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Parks and Recreation welcomes new members
by Mary Atkinson · December 11, 2013

The city council has appointed Damian Bardell and Amber Cardona to the city's Parks and Recreation Board.

Bardell is an information technical specialist in Davenport and has landscaping experience, which he thinks may come in handy serving on the board.

"I am actively involved with the kids in their activities, as well as my own, and as a parent and coach." Bardell said, "I don't like to sit back and watch. I like to help. It's in my nature."

Age 30, Bardell is a life-long resident of West Liberty. He is married to Christy and has two children, Eion, 10, and Summer, 5.

Amber Cardona, 31, thinks serving on the board is a good way to have a positive impact on the community.

"I have a lot of good ideas and I am very resourceful," Cardona said. "I feel like I can accomplish a lot on a shoestring budget."

Cardona is also opening a new business in town, Slightly Vintage, located at 317 N. Calhoun street. She and her husband Ralph have three children, Jonathan, 7, Vivian, 6 and Madeline, 2.

Damian Bardell believes he can bring a lot of ideas and insight to the table, but knows that the financial aspects can hamper those ideas.

"I think that having the full board that we are getting - just having all the members - we are heading in the right direction," Bardell said, "Without all the members we can't  go anywhere."

Bardell said he feels he is on the same page as other members, especially when it comes to the Dutton Complex and the issues surrounding it. The complex needs a sprinkler and lighting system, as well as community access to all the fields.

"If we can get everything done it has a lot of potential," Bardell said, "It can draw in big time tournaments for example."

He's in this for students and the school district, because he thinks sports are important for children.

"It teaches them leadership," he said. "How to be obedient for example. Following and doing what you are told even if you disagree. But you also learn camaraderie, team work, working together, 'not in it for yourself' type attitude, and there is a health aspect to it as well. It's all part of growing up."

Cardona is also on board when it comes to getting children involved, she believes the Parks and Rec. Department can have a huge impact on their social skills.

"They need a community place where they can be involved in groups," she said.

Cardona also wants to help improve the overall state of West Liberty.

"I would like to get more people involved and make this a destination town," she said, "I'm really excited about the upcoming changes and challenges that are ahead. It excites young people and motivates them more to want to get things done."

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