Parks a priority for Hayden |

Parks a priority for Hayden

— Hayden Town officials have reshaped their vision for what they want to see in the next parks and recreation supervisor.

Hiring someone who can take on maintenance of the town parks in addition to organizing recreation activities and special events might be too much, the Hayden Parks and Recreation Board decided at its Monday night meeting. The former parks and recreation supervisor cited too many duties as one of the problems with the job when he resigned last month.

The board decided that a new supervisor should be hired, in addition to adding a full-time maintenance position that would be shared equally with the Public Works department. The proposal still has to go before the Hayden Town Board at its Aug. 17 meeting, but Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said the town would like to start advertising for the position the week after that.

The board wrestled with a couple alternatives, each with different definitions for the role of the parks and recreation supervisor. The role of the parks supervisor will become increasingly important as the town moves forward with plans for $800,000 in improvements to Dry Creek Park. The town is pursuing grant money for the improvements.

One option for the new parks department included hiring a full-time facility maintenance person to work under the Public Works department. Recreation programs would be contracted with Totally Kids under that option.

“It just shows that Parks and Recreation in Hayden isn’t necessary, and I don’t think that’s good,” board member Jill Altman said.

The other option included hiring a parks and recreation supervisor to do all parks maintenance and recreation-program organization. An event coordinator would be hired as a contract employee to organize recreation and special events. Under that option, the contract employee would work from home, which raised some concerns with board members.

“I want someone to be available here, where they can be approached, and I don’t see that happening with someone who works out of home,” board member Sherry Dunckley said.

With the need to hire an additional employee in the Public Works department, the board decided that a new full-time position spilt with Public Works would be best, in addition to a full-time parks supervisor.

During warm months, the facility-maintenance person would work in parks maintenance. The parks supervisor would be allowed to focus more on event planning and recreation, the board agreed. During the off-season, the maintenance person would be trained to operate the wastewater and water treatment plant.

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