Does Town Need F-T Rec Director?
The Parks and Recreation Commission votes 2-1 to go before the Barrington Town Council in March and pitch the need for more than a part-time director.
Does Barrington need a full-time recreation director?
The Parks and Recreation Commission voted Thursday night to take a step toward turning the current part-time post into a full-time job. But the 2-1 vote with an abstention by an alternate member still leaves the seven-member board’s support for a full-time recreation director in doubt.
Indeed, chairman Michael Seward, who voted against a motion to go before the Town Council in March and push for more hours for the position, said he’s simply not sure Barrington needs a full-time director.
“I don’t think we have a case,” he said. “I think we’re at a draw right now.”
Vice chairman Edwin McKinlay, who seconded the motion, and commission member Anthony Arico, who made the motion, disagree.
In fact, McKinlay not only sees a need for a full-time director, he also sees a need for a staff, a recreation department, and a budget.
“We need someone to take ownership of the recreation department,” he said. “Right now, volunteers tend to lead a program. When that person disappears, the program disappears as well.”
He used the badminton program at the Barrington Middle School last year as a prime example. There were about 40 players in the program. It doesn't exist now because the volunteer who led it moved away.
Town Council President June Speakman, the council liaison to the commission, agreed with McKinlay that Barrington recreation programs tend live and die with volunteers.
“There is a lack of organizational continuity,” she said.
But the recreation commission still needs to show the Town Council that there are “unmet needs,” she said.
“You want programs, we’ll give you programs,” Arico said in supporting his motion to go before the Town Council.
Part-time Recreation and Leisure Services Director Michelle Geremia, who has been on the job only a few months, also is not seen as being able yet to provide much guidance – although the Town Council would certainly like to hear what she has in mind, said Speakman.
Is there a problem? Speakman said. And, if there is a problem, is it solved by a full-time director or something else?
What do you think Barrington needs? Are there "unmet needs" in recreation and leisure services? Use the comment box below.