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Boyle questions wording of P&R director posting

Some confusion was expressed Tuesday from Boyle County about how the City of Danville came to be involved with the application process for the new Danville-Boyle County Parks & Recreation director, and how the wording was chosen for the description.

During the Boyle Fiscal Court’s meeting, Magistrate Jason Cullen said there were four applicants being looked at previously for the position. “And then they’ve gone ahead and reposted it. The City of Danville has taken it upon themselves to go ahead and repost the position out there.”

“Their wording was a little bit askew, I think,” Judge-Executive Howard Hunt said.

Magistrate Jamey Gay asked, “What was the deal with that? … The city posting the position?” No one responded to the question.

“They trimmed it down to two people, both ended up turning it down,” Cullen said. “We did have an internal candidate that has not reapplied for the second posting. But there is an internal one.”

When asked after the meeting what he meant by the “wording being askew,” Hunt said the position’s description is written as if it reports to the city.

The job description states the position coordinates “the efforts of all City of Danville and Boyle County parks and recreation operation, primarily provided in Millennium Park, jointly owned by the city and county.” It points out that although the bulk of programming is in Millennium Park and at the Bunny Davis Recreational Center, “this position is responsible for all existing and future parks … within the City of Danville.”

The top line of the job description says “The City of Danville is accepting applications for the following position,” which appears on every posting.

Danville’s human resources director, Donna Peek, said, “Yes, this is just standard since we are accepting the applications here at the city on behalf of parks and we are paying for the advertisements.”

Hunt said the posting should specify the position reports to the Parks & Rec Board, not to the city.

Danville City Commissioner Rick Serres said the reason the city is involved in the search for a new director is because the Parks & Rec board asked for its help.

“Jeff Thornton (vice chair of the board) kind of took the lead … He wanted to get some help from the city on redoing the application,” Serres said.

Danville City Manager Ron Scott said he met with Thornton twice over the description.

“We developed (a job description) that was never utilized. We compared it to what they did, and Jeff (Thornton) asked that we take the lead with advertising the position,” Scott said. He said the city was “acting on behalf of the Parks & Rec Board to take the lead.”

He said the city has an HR professional who has experience in dealing with the process, so the city “readily agreed” to do it.

“It does say maybe in the heading some verbiage about recruiting by the City of Danville, but we’re intentional about saying the other parts. We don’t want to hire a director just for Millennium Park,” Scott said. He said after the job description was complete, Thornton called a meeting with the Parks & Rec Board “to get their consent on the way it was drafted.”

“We’re just gathering applications and turning them over to Parks & Rec,” Commissioner Rick Serres said. “So, contrary to what people believe, we’re not taking it over. We’re just helping.”

He said the way the application is outlined is what the parks master plan suggested, and what he thinks the public expects.

“The public should not have to guess or wonder who’s responsible for this trail or that park or facility. And we, as a city, as a county and as Parks & Rec need to be cohesive in our maintaining, programming and expanding those recreational opportunities.”