I was born at the old Sodus Hospital and grew up in Wolcott on our family dairy farm. I have spent most of my life here. I was named Kim (not Kimberly) by my Dad, because, all his life he had to deal with being called Samuel, when all he ever wanted to be called was Sam.
Tell me about your family.
My parents (Sam and Ethel Park)were older when I was born; my brother, Tom, was 18 years older than me.
They were all very well liked and respected in town. I love having people come up to me and tell me how great
they were, especially since they are not around now. My brother died at age 34 of a heart attack, just before my junior year of high school. My parents have both passed away now too. My mother died three years ago, and my husband Todd and I kept her into our family home for hospice care for 21 months. I have no regrets about that. We became even closer. You certainly learn that are a full 24 hours in a day.
Tell me about growing up in Wolcott.
You know how, when you’re young, like in your teens, you can’t wait to get away from your home. Then, when you
finally come back – you wonder why you ever left. Wolcott is home. Even though I went away to college, I always
came back to Wolcott. I grew up on our dairy farm, and worked hard,but loved it. You learn so much about work ethics and responsibilities.
I learned how things worked. There were many practical lessons.
My brother did not leave the farm when he graduated. Dad encouraged him to go, but he said he wanted to keep working in the business, if not with Dad at the farm, then some other farm — so he stayed. I adored my brother. We were close and he was extremely protective of me.
Dad and Mom were very involved in the Town. Dad was very civic-minded. He was president of the school board
for many years, and was well respected,Both my parents were always very supportive of me.
Did you know when you graduated high school what you wanted to do?
Not really. I knew I wanted to go to college, but not in what field. I graduated from North Rose-Wolcott High
School in 1984 and went to SUNY Oswego, to stay close to home, and be near my brother’s three children. I am
still very close to them.
At Oswego I graduated with a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in Psychology. I decided to major in the business
field. My first job when I came home was working for Fold Pak in Newark, to make money to pay for my college
loans. I went on to graduate school at Brockport and continued to work, earning my MPA (Masters in Public Administration).
I also earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. While I was taking my grad courses, I worked for BOCES for about 6-1/2 years years in sales and marketing of a nationwide staff development program.
From BOCES, I went on to become a Senior Regional Advisor for McGraw Hill, and worked with many teachers and administrators. The best part of the job was that I got to travel a great deal.I loved my sales and marketing
work with McGraw Hill. There was a lot of time for presentations and public speaking that I enjoyed. It was a type
of computer-based literacy. I still lived in Wolcott, but traveled up and down the East Coast.
When did you find time to marry?
In 2002, a mutual friend introduced Todd Palmer and I at her birthday party. I wasn’t thrilled about a “set up”,
but I went and sat next to him during the party. We just “clicked” immediately!He was in his family’s business,
Palmer Distributing in Newark. We were married in October of 2003. I have two stepsons also, Preston (now
19) and Garrett (now 17).
How did you get into politics?
I have always been interested in things that went on in my town and in the county. Todd was not happy that
I was traveling so much with my job,and one day told me that they were looking for a County Administrator.
I applied for the job and got it, staying on for 2 years. After that time, I felt I wanted to serve my community
even better. I decided to run for Town Supervisor of Wolcott, against Marv Decker. Wolcott was my home and is
near and dear to me. I thought I could do a good job, serving my community. Marv had done a great job, and was a
great guy, but I thought I was right for the job.
I began as Supervisor of Wolcott in January of 2006. I was the youngest of the Supervisors at age 38. I began
the same year that Jim Hoffman took over as Chairman of the Board, and Bob Plant came on as Supervisor of the
Town of Walworth, and Steve LeRoy as Supervisor of Sodus. Jody Bender of Marion and I were the only women on
the board that year.
How do you like your job on the Town and County boards?
I love them. Being Town Supervisor is one of the most rewarding jobs of my career. I take it very seriously.
As Supervisor, and on the Board of Supervisors,I was elected and entrusted to be the steward of the tax dollars of my constituents. I am now serving people in my town and county who I have known all my life. I take that responsibility very seriously. I have dealt with small businesses in town, but the problems and dilemmas I help to solve in the Town for the public, give me the most pleasure. You can’t please everyone,I have learned, but you can listen to everyone and do what is best for the majority. As long as I am effective and the people want me as Supervisor,I will continue in the job. I am up for election again in Fall of 2015.
What do you enjoy most at the county level?
I like heading different committees. I really liked being the chairman of the Health and Medical committee,
and working with the Wayne County Nursing Home. I have a real affinity for the older generation. There are
so many challenges with aging. I was completely surprised when I was asked to become chairman of the Finance
Committee. It is very different – I deal with so many more departments. I love what I do and I am honored to have the opportunity to do it all.
I understand you run businesses of your own?
Yes, I have “Kim Park Properties, LLC”, which is a rental property company; and also “Finger Lakes Home Supply”, which is a distribution company for home supplies for community based residences. My husband Todd helps me in that business. He is a great partner in all ways. He is extremely supportive of everything I do. We work and play well together. Sometimes, I even have time to enjoy our boat on Port Bay. I am happy to live in the same house my family has owned for 5 generations, since 1830.
What, for you is the meaning of life?
I think it is to be true to yourself. I live by a set of values, a code of ethics, a moral code. Whatever you believe is what makes you tick. You have to find your inner peace. I use my code of values in everything I do – in all my decisions. I gained this from my parents and their high ethical standards. We do not do things alone. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with.