Rec/Park Board votes to combine director positions

Posted November 11, 2020 at 2:06 pm

The Clinton County Recreation/Park Board’s Executive Committee held a special meeting last Thursday, November 5 at the Welcome Center with five members present and the primary item of business being the advertisement for the position of park / recreation director.

The board met for just over one and a half hours at the call session, held at the Welcome Center. Over an hour of the meeting was in closed session to specifically discuss personnel involving the park director and recreation director positions and deciding on criteria for each.

In the end, it was determined that the recreation position was basically unnecessary and due to financial reasons, one person could handle the dual role of both Park/Recreation Director beginning in 2021.

At the start of the meeting, board member Jeff Pharis made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report, which passed by unanimous vote.

The park board’s ending balance through September 30 stood at $8,572.86 with one $2,500 pending deposit from the school board for the period running October through December of this year, with those funds not to be received until early next year.

Board members also discussed gathering and presenting totals to the City of Albany on annual allotted amounts the park board claims the city still owes. Those figures will be presented to city officials once they are available.

Board Chairman Wayne Glover then made a motion to enter into closed session to discuss personnel.

The positions of park director and recreation director, aka maintenance, were discussed at length, including the amount of hours worked by each and the amount in salaries it costs the board to sustain both positions, even with the recreation director being only a seven-month per year position.

The recreation director position ran March through September, the busiest period at the park. The park director position, although part-time, was year-round, each paying $12 per hour, each with no fringe benefits.

The recreation position had an 80 hour per month limit, with a total not to exceed 560 hours for the seven month period. The park director position was to average 100 hours per month.

Monthly hours for each position were to be “flexible,” depending on the jobs and amount of work that needed to be done per month.

Previously, only one person had done the combined jobs, having part of his salary paid by the Clinton County School Board. Following that person’s retirement, the board opted to hire a separate recreation director to handle specific duties and assist during busier park activity months.

Following a lengthy discussion with no action taken in closed session, the committee returned to open session to act on the park/recreation director and other issues.

Prior to taking any votes, a couple of members expressed concern over the hours of work that had been turned in and salaries paid, especially in 2020, since the park has basically been closed to most aspects of activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, they did note that jobs, such as constant mowing, cleaning, trash pick-up, weed eating, etc. had to be done.

Board member Chris Marlow then suggested combining the two director positions into one year-round position as a way to streamline activities and also save the park board money on salaries.

Board member Todd Messer then made the motion to combine the positions, with the effective dates on an annual basis, running from March 1 of next year through February 28 of the next and subsequent years. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

Tentatively, the one position would pay $15 per hour with work load hours being staggered. The first seven months of the period, through September, would see the director log an average of 120 hours monthly and 40 hours monthly the other five fall and winter months when activity is almost nonexistent.

This would mean a total of 1,040 per year or a cap salary of $15,600 annually, with the monthly hours fluctuating depending on the amount of activity, weather, and so forth.

It was agreed that a set of guidelines, salary figures, hours, job description and other criteria be formed and presented to all the park board members for their input and approval.

The board would, when all applications are received after the advertised deadline, set up interview times and dates for each applicant, if necessary.

It is hoped the position can begin being advertised in the month of December. The current recreation director (whose yearly duty ended at the end of September) and park director can also apply for the position if they choose.

In other park business:

* On a motion by Gary Guffey, seconded by Marlow, the committee voted to proceed with the purchase of a 2020 TS Gator from a company in Somerset at approximately $6,282.15.

Messer again thanked the Clinton County IDA for a recent $2,500 donation toward that equipment that will be used, among other things, to work on ball fields. He also noted he had sent requests for donations to both Tyson Foods and American Woodmark.

* Discussed using one portion of the Farmers Market building to house and store park maintenance equipment.

* Again discussed a long range goal of constructing a new concession stand at the park and revamping the old building that is currently unused above the concession stand.

It was noted that Little League may be able to help fund such a project in some way.

The park board’s next meeting will be a special session with date, time and location, to be announced later.