Parks and Recreation has new director

Published 11:23 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023


The City of Danville is pleased to welcome Tommy Barton to the role of Director of the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Department.

Tommy Barton joins the City of Danville with over 22 years of Parks and Recreation Management experience. He first served as Director of Parks & Recreation in Prophetstown, Illinois for 11 years before accepting the role of Executive Director for the Greater Muhlenberg Parks and Recreation System at its creation.

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When Mr. Barton was made Executive Director in Muhlenberg County, the Parks & Recreation System was newly formed. Over the next 11+ years, he would lead the department in the development of many youth programs and activities, and adult or intermural leagues – like those of interest in Boyle County – including pickleball and volleyball.

He also oversaw the creation of the Ray Jones Family Athletic Complex which opened in 2015 to include baseball/softball fields, concessions, tennis courts, full-sized basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, batting cages, playgrounds, walking trails, a fishing lake and picnic shelters. This incredible development was followed by the completion of the Sue & Brown Badgett Center in 2020, an indoor athletic complex that houses multipurpose courts, batting cages and meeting spaces.

Mr. Barton was raised in Northern Illinois and grew up on his family’s dairy farm. He has many interests including woodworking and gardening. He is an instrumentalist and songwriter and will be joined in Danville by his wife, Stacie.

“We are very excited to join the Danville-Boyle County community and I look forward to serving and working alongside the current Parks and Recreation staff,” said Barton.

The position of Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Director attracted over 50 applicants nationwide. The hiring process for the role of director is defined in the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Joint Participation Agreement, which was formed in 2020.

Through this agreement, The Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Department operates as a department of The City of Danville but maintains a beneficial partnership with The Boyle County Fiscal Court, which participates through appointments to the Parks & Recreation Committee and financial contributions.

The Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Committee consists of city appointees, county appointees and joint appointees which represent the interest of the community in making recommendations to city staff regarding Parks and Recreation operations. The committee is represented in this hiring process through the selected chairman, Mark Morgan, who consulted the committee members on the desired characteristics of prospective candidates.

Candidates for director were initially screened by city staff and the chairman of the Parks & Recreation Committee based on desired qualifications and experience.

Recommendations were then made to a hiring committee consisting of Boyle County Judge Executive Trille Bottom, Danville City Manager Earl Coffey, and Chairman of the Parks & Recreation Committee Mark Morgan, in accordance with the Joint Participation Agreement. The committee found Mr. Barton to be the best fit to serve this community.