By Jeff Gallatin
Expansion of the North Olmsted Recreation Center and six-figure collections in the mayor’s court has led to the city preparing to create three new full-time positions in the parks and recreation department and the mayor’s court.
City Council was scheduled at its regular meeting last night to consider legislation creating the positions of program supervisor and facility supervisor in the parks and recreation department. In addition, it also was set to consider moving an assistant clerk of mayor’s court position from part time to full time. Administration officials said the moves will help the city deal with busy workloads in both departments.
Mayor Kevin Kennedy said both full-time positions in the recreation department would be paid about $35,000 annually and be eligible for benefits. Changing the mayor’s court assistant’s position from part time to full time would put the annual cost at about $39,000 in salary and benefits.
Kennedy said the additions are needed to deal with changes in the city.
“Our recreation department is changing and adding a lot of new services, so we need to change along with it,” he said. “We need the additional positions so we can continue to provide strong services as we put in these changes in the recreation department.
“We had put another part-time worker in the mayor’s court, and then that person left,” Kennedy said. “So, we had to make the decision, do we replace the part-time worker, or do we make the assistant’s position full time? We decided it was more efficient to make the assistant full time.”
Kennedy noted the mayor’s court brought in about $250,000 its first year, and he expects to have a comparable figure at the end of the second. He said the assistant’s position would be paid for with funds from those collections. He said the city is not trying to write more tickets because of the addition of the mayor’s court.
He noted the city had issued about 7,500 tickets in 2011, which went up to 8,500 in 2012, then dropped back to about 7,500 in 2013 – the first year of the mayor’s court.
“It looks like it’s going to be roughly the same figure again for the second year,” he said. “We also have property maintenance citations coming in, so we should be in the same general area of collections,” he said.
In the recreation department move, recreation Commissioner Betsy Drenski said that with the addition of fitness equipment and other upgrades at the recreation center, she and Assistant Commissioner Chris Wetmore could use the additional help. Drenski noted that she and Wetmore had both started in the recreation department at other positions and that they had both continued to try to fulfill some of those jobs, such as much of the scheduling work or passing out the equipment in sports work while also taking on additional responsibilities when promoted.
Drenski said with the changes in the recreation center and additional responsibilities for herself and Wetmore, they need the additional assistance. If approved, the program supervisor would be responsible for outdoor and off-campus activities, such as scheduling, programming and staff; overseeing softball, football, basketball and summer camp; and all facility/park rental maintenance.
In addition, the new facility supervisor position would manage and train recreation personnel in the areas of child care, building maintenance, front desk and facility rentals.
Drenski said the department likely would promote capable part-time workers already familiar with the recreation department.
In the mayor’s court proposal, Clerk of Courts Kathleen Cole said that the workload justifies making the current part-time position a full-time one. Kennedy noted the court brought in $250,000 in its first year and current projections are that it will bring in a similar total this year.
Cole said making current Assistant Clerk Julie Boehm a full-time worker would be the best move. Cole said Boehm has been with the court almost since the beginning, and knows both her job and can fill in for Cole when she is not there.