Three candidates for the city of Delaware’s parks and natural resources Director position will have a second round of interviews with city staff next week.
The candidates are:
• Douglas A. Burger, of Guilford, Indiana. Burger’s most recent position was as parks service director for Great Parks of Hamilton County in Cincinnati. He has a degree in turf-grass management and landscape design from Eastern Kentucky University.
• Ted Clifford Miller, of Waldo. Miller is chief landscape architect for Preservation Parks of Delaware County. He has a degree in landscape architecture from Ohio State University.
• Gregory Todd Younkin, of Upper Arlington. Younkin is resource planning manager at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Watercraft. He has a degree in natural resources parks and recreation administration.
This week, seven candidates were interviewed. In addition to Burger, Miller and Younkin, those interviewed were:
• Vincent Thomas Billow, of Johnstown, Ohio, park manager at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks.
• Clisby M. Jennelle IV, of Hurricane, West Virginia, business manager/chief financial officer for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
• Robert L. Peters, of Wadsworth, most recently chief of operations for Summit Metro Parks in Akron.
• Mary Beth Sills, of Reynoldsburg, director of the city of Steubenville Parks and Recreation Department.
The city’s human resources staff said 56 people applied for the position.
The director, a newly created position, would be “responsible for planning, coordinating and directing the operations of the four divisions of the city’s parks and natural resources department (parks, Hidden Valley Golf Course, Oak Grove Cemetery and urban forestry),” states the job description. The director would oversee nine full-time employees and manage 24 parks (a total of 370 acres), 20 miles of bike trails, a nine-hole golf course, a 72-acre cemetery and more than 15,000 trees.
Opening in 2016 will be a new dog park next to the Wetlands Park off Mill Run Crossing; and a dinosaur-themed “Spray and Play” splash pad and activity area at Veterans Park next to the YMCA. Other projects include canoe/kayak launches in the city’s portion of the Olentangy River.
Delaware had a parks and recreation director until 2012, when the city contracted with the YMCA for recreation programming. It currently has a parks supervisor. However, city staff members say they have felt there was a void in managing all of the city’s natural resources, and a full-time position was approved by City Council and budgeted for 2016.
“We’re looking for someone who can do a whole lot,” said City Manager Tom Homan earlier this year. “The goal is to have someone selected by Memorial Day.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.