The search goes on for Barrington’s first “director of leisure services.”
“I would like to have had someone on board by now,” said Town Manager Peter DeAngelis Jr. on Thursday afternoon. “But vacations and other things got in the way. I’m not ready to appoint someone yet.”
DeAngelis and Barrington’s human resources manager, MariAnn Oliveira, have finished interviewing candidates for the person who will replace John Taylor, who retired as recreation director on Aug. 31. There were almost 30 applicants, the 4 finalists got personal interviews, 8 others got phone interviews -- three of the finalists are from Barrington.
“Our intent was to draw from a variety of fields,” said DeAngelis, not just the traditional pool of candidates for recreation director. That has occurred, he said.
One of the applicants, for instance, was an attorney, said Oliveira. The new title for the post also attracted events managers and other people involved in recreational and leisure time services, she said.
Not everyone is happy with the new title for the post, said DeAngelis.
“But I think it reinforces the concept that we want to do something different with the position,” he said.
The applicants interviewed also introduced DeAngelis and Oliveira to other “skill sets that could meet our needs,” he said. “We’ve learned from them.”
The town manager said that all along “I have wanted to enhance what we’re doing, not take anything away.” He stressed, in particular, that he wants a new leisure services chief who can create new partnerships and build on existing leisure-time activities – not just organized sports and recreation -- that appeal to all members of the community.
DeAngelis sees the new leisure-services director as working closely with businesses in Barrington, especially the Barrington Business Association, to create activities and events, such as sidewalk sales and the annual tree-lighting ceremony and the upcoming Harvest Stroll on Oct. xx.
“We have not solidified many of these partnerships,” he said.
DeAngelis said the town also “can’t wait” to hear the proposal from the Parks and Recreation Commission for a full-time recreation director. A subcommittee of that board met earlier this week to fill out a questionnaire that will be used to create a job description for a full-time director -- the board's preference.
“There is no money in the budget right now anyway,” DeAngelis said. “But I can’t wait to get the proposal and then go through the Town Council and the Financial Town Meeting.”
That would mean trying to made do without a director to handle the current programs and offerings of the Recreation Department.
The new part-time director could become a candidate for a full-time post if that came to pass, he said. But right now, the town manager repeated that he wants to hire someone “without expanding the budget.” The base salary for the part-time post is $25,000.
The leisure services director would still work closely with the Parks and Recreation Commission, DeAngelis said. That relationship will stay the same.