The Atlantic Parks and Recreations Departments Board of Directors wants to get the ball rolling on hiring an assistant to Parks Director Roger Herring. Herring’s five-year contract with the City expires in May, 2016. In September, Herring asked the Board to start looking for someone to succeed him. He said the assistant would learn the Operations aspect of the department, which would allow Herring to work on other, important aspects of the job, such as grant-writing.
Herring said contrary to rumors, a candidate has not been singled-out for the position. He says while he has people in mind, “It’s not a done deal,” and the position is open to the public. The final say on hiring is with the Parks Board. There currently no timeline in-place for hiring the assistant, a fact Parks and Rec Board members Charlene Bean pointed out needs to be corrected quickly.
She said they need to have someone on board as soon as possible. Beane said “There are too many things that are pending…[several] projects that need a force behind them. Grants that need to be written. If we’ve got money to hire somebody, I think we ought to do it ASAP.” Herring said he can “Work with anything,” as far as a timeline is concerned. Board President Stuart Dusenberry said they should have someone in place by no later than the end of May, 2015, so that person can become familiarized with the busy summer activities and responsibilities.
If the Board chooses to have someone in the assistant director’s position by January 1st, they will have to amend their current budget, which Interim City Administrator John Lund said could be taken up during an upcoming City Council work session. Afterward, if the Council is comfortable with the numbers presented during the meeting, the Parks Board can assemble a job description and present before the Council during a regular meeting prior to the end of the year.
Lund said his “Gut reactions is ….the money will be there,” and based on the response of the Personnel and Finance Committee, thinks the chances are the Council will favor the idea to amend the budget and move forward.