Rec board approves search for director, field maintenance

STEUBENVILLE – City Manager Tim Boland plans to start advertising for a new recreation director next week and hopes to have a candidate hired by March after the city’s Parks and Recreation board approved filling the job that has been vacant for the past 13 months.

“The city is operating under a temporary budget with the permanent 2014 budget set to be approved by April. My recommendation is to move forward now with the search for a recreation director because the recreation season traditionally starts getting very busy in March. It usually takes about six weeks to hire someone. So I suggest we proceed with all deliberate speed. I believe we need a recreation director to bring the volunteer groups in that want to help with the parks and recreation department. The director would facilitate vetting the volunteer groups before they attend your meetings. And, the director would be in charge of overseeing the maintenance of the parks and recreation facilities, coordinating event schedules and planning programs in our facilities,” explained Boland during a special parks and recreation board meeting Wednesday night.

“The current job description for the recreation director was approved by the Civil Service Commission. The advertisement will include the qualifications for the recreation director, who will be paid approximately $41,000 with benefits annually. I suggest the city manager be part of the candidate evaluation process. The park board will make a final recommendation to the city manager and City Council will make the final approval,” noted Mayor Domenick Mucci.

“I suggest in addition to advertising in the Herald-Star and parks and recreation publications, you also make the job opening known to regional colleges and universities that offer courses in the field. You may find an excellent candidate who is graduating with a degree in this field,” said recreation board member Jim Emmerling.

Boland said the deadline for application will be 4 p.m. on March 7.

“The next board meeting after that is March 12 and you can start the review process,” Boland told the recreation board members.

In other business during the nearly two-hour meeting, the board heard a proposal from Steubenville High School Athletic Director Lynn Meyer and Steubenville High School girls softball coach Gus DiMarzio who offered to take over field maintenance at the Jim Wood ballfield in exchange for scheduling consideration and improvements at the field.

“I would like to make improvements at the field. I want my girls to have a home field. And I want them to take pride in that field,” DiMarzio said.

“If our agreement is approved I have already talked to Jim Saltsman at Fort Steuben Maintenance who will donate the block and help us build two block dugouts for shelter for both teams. We will also fix the puddling issue at third base. And we will cut the grass on a regular basis and maintain the field. I am the Follansbee recreation director and maintain the ballfields in that city. So I am prepared to take care of the Jim Wood field. We will also take care of the adjacent soccer field if you want us to,” DiMarzio continued.

“I just want to make those playing fields good for the kids of Steubenville because my players come from Steubenville. All I will want to know is who will use the field and when they will use the field so we don’t have scheduling conflicts. We would keep our equipment at the field and will continue to maintain the grounds through the summer months. We want to keep the field as nice as possible,” added DiMarzio.

He also asked the city to consider allowing him to seek sponsors that would place their banners on the fencing.

“We will do the legwork and give all of the funding to the recreation board in return for some field material donations such as chalk, lime and maybe gas for the lawn tractor,” noted DiMarzio.

Boland told DiMarzio and Meyer he had similar field maintenance agreements in Pataskala where he served as city administrator for seven years.

“We will take our boiler plate language and your proposed agreement and have our law director put together a final agreement document for the Feb. 12 recreation board meeting. I would ask you to come to that meeting. If the recreation board agrees, we will take the agreement to City Council for final approval. I will get a memo out to council before the Tuesday meeting so the members area aware of the proposal,” Boland said.