Elaine Freeman Ed Abele Brian Dennert Josh Gray Kate OBrien
Elaine Freeman
Ed Abele
Vice Chair
Brian Dennert
Josh Gray
 Kate O'Brien


Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District is governed by a five-member elected Board of Directors. Each Board member serves a four-year term of office. Board member elections are staggered on a three-member, two-member election rotation. That is, three members of the Board are elected in one election, and two years later the other two members are elected, and so on. This ensures that not all Board members are replaced in any one election, and therefore facilitates the continuity of institutional knowledge.

The District consolidates its election for Board Members with the Statewide General Election that occurs in November. The next election for Park District Board members is in 2024, and they are set to occur every 2 years thereafter. The District contracts with the Ventura County Elections Division for its elections.  To obtain more information, including information about how to run for office, you can view their website by clicking on this link: https://recorder.countyofventura.org/elections/   Please also feel free to contact the District’s Director of Administration with any questions by calling 805-584-4400.
The District's Board of Directors is the legislative body responsible for establishing policies for the operation of the District and providing guidance for District staff to implement those policies. The individual Directors exercise power collectively - as a legislative body. For additional information regarding the 2024 Election, click here.

A member of the Board of Directors attends all regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors (regular meetings are held on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the District headquarters). In preparation for meetings a Board Member reviews the agenda and staff reports with supporting documents to become familiar with the agenda items to be able to ask questions and participate in the discussion and deliberation on the agenda items.

After discussion and deliberation a vote of the members of the Board of Directors is taken on all action items. Actions items include but are not limited to the following areas; budget, policy, personnel, legislation, land, claims, lawsuits, projects, purchases and contracts. The District provides a large and diverse number of park facilities. It also provides hundreds of recreational activities annually in areas such as; aquatics, before and after school clubs, visual and martial arts, dance, gymnastics, fitness, seniors, alternative recreation, golf, youth and adult sports and community events. The District’s administration, maintenance and recreation operations take place under the general direction of the Board of Directors.

Board members are also representatives of the Park District and may serve on standing, liaison and ad hoc committees of the Board of Directors, and interact with other government entities that have jurisdiction over all or part of the geographic area in which the District operates. The District’s boundary is 113 square miles and includes the City of Simi Valley and adjacent unincorporated areas of Ventura County, and includes the community of Oak Park.

Board members may also serve in various capacities for other local, state and national organizations providing governance, legislative, educational and other supportive services to the community, special districts, and parks and recreation providers, including; California Park and Recreation Society, National Recreation and Park Association, California Association of Recreation and Park Districts, California Special Districts Association, Chamber of Commerce, Police, Education and Cultural Arts Foundations and more.

"To send a comment to the Board, please click here"


Elaine Freeman

Elaine Freeman - Chair

First Became a Board Member: December 2003
Current Term of Office: December 2020 – December 2024

OCCUPATION: Land Use Consultant, owner Urban Strategies.

OTHER AFFILIATIONS (past and present): President Ventura County Special District Assoc.(Chair); Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce; First Ladies of Simi Valley Hospital (Board Member); California Special Districts Association (Board Member); California Special District Legislative Committee (Member); SV Community Council (President); Local Agency Formation Commission (Chair); Leadership Simi Valley (Founder).

INTEREST IN SERVING ON THE BOARD: "My interest in serving on the Board of Directors is to participate in the continuing success of the District. In addition, my interest in serving is to ensure that the District provides a wide variety of opportunities to meet the park and recreation needs of its residents."

CONTACT INFO: (805) 320-8615 

Ed Abele

Ed A
bele - Vice Chair
First Became a Board Member: January 2017
Current Term of Office: December 2022 – December 2026

OCCUPATION: Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles

OTHER AFFILIATIONS (past and present): Simi Valley Neighborhood Council #4 (Past Chair); Simi Valley Neighborhood Council #1 (Past Chair); Special Event Support Review Committee (Past Chair); Simi Valley Police Foundation (Past Director); Citizens' School Bond Oversight Committee (Past Vice Chair); Leadership Simi Valley (2003 Graduate, Past Steering Committee Member); Simi Valley Education Foundation (Past Member); Simi Sunrise Rotary (Past Member).

INTEREST IN SERVING ON THE BOARD: “My entire professional and adult life has been devoted to public service. As a resident of Simi Valley for over 40 years, I have benefited from the use of the District's parks and recreational activities. Serving on the Board provides a unique opportunity to further contribute to the community and our park district.”

CONTACT INFO: To send a comment to Mr. Abele, please click here.

Brian Dennert

Brian Dennert - Director
First Became a Board Member: December 2018
Current Term of Office: December 2022 – December 2026


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Our school has a partnership with the Reagan Library to promote civics. My goal is to get more young people involved in serving their community. I have volunteered often in our schools and local community. This includes on school committees, PTA/PTSA, and school district committees.

INTEREST IN SERVING ON THE BOARD:  I want to serve our community in improving our parks and recreation district. My family has fun in our parks. I want to give back for the opportunities that been provided to me. Being part of the Parks and Recreation District is a way to contribute.

CONTACT INFO: To send a comment to Mr. Dennert, please click here.

Josh Gray

Josh Gray - Director

First Became a Board Member: December 2020
Current Term of Office: December 2020 - December 2024

OCCUPATION: Government Affairs

OTHER AFFILIATIONS (past and present): Simi Valley Boy Scout Troop 622; Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce; Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Committee; Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise; Simi Valley YMCA Youth & Government; Knolls Elementary; Valley View Middle School; Santa Susana High School; California Lutheran University.

INTEREST IN SERVING ON THE BOARD: I was born and raised here in Simi Valley and benefitted from the programs and policies of the Park District - Serving on the Board is a great way to protect that legacy for our community and build upon it. I seek to safeguard our open spaces, expand before/after school care, grow access to recreation center programs, and interconnect our local governments to strengthen services.

CONTACT INFO: To send a comment to Mr. Gray, please click here.

Kate OBrien

Kate O'Brien - Director

First Became a Board Member: December 2000
Current Term of Office: December 2020 – December 2024

 OCCUPATION: Civil/Structural Engineer. Owner since 1994 of Kate O’Brien, P.E.

OTHER AFFILIATIONS (past and present): Community Action of Ventura County; Ventura County Special District Association; Simi Valley Education Foundation; Simi Valley Rotary; Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce; National Association of Women in Construction (Past President); Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce; Menlo Park Arts Commission; Planned Parenthood of San Mateo County Clinic Defender.

INTEREST IN SERVING ON THE BOARD: “I’ve have always been interested in community involvement. The Park District is a good sphere of influence in the community and a place where I can provide effective leadership.”

 katieoliberty@gmail.com; (805) 501-3623