Parks director accepts new job

The city of Seymour’s parks and recreation director has left his position to fulfill his dream of teaching and coaching.

Brent Jameson, 31, won’t be moving away from the area, however, as he begins his new career at Seymour High School. The Michigan native is now teaching advanced physical education and coaching basketball. His last day with the city was Monday.

“It was a very difficult decision,” he said. “I really enjoyed my job and everyone that I worked with. It was ultimately my passion for working with young people that led me into education.”

Mayor Craig Luedeman said he is sorry to see Jameson leave but wanted to encourage him to do what makes him happy.

“I think he did a great job,” Luedeman said. “But his heart was in basketball. That’s what he really wanted to do, and he’s getting to do that.”

The city is now accepting résumés for the position but likely won’t begin interviewing until after the first of the year, he said.

“We’ll slide through the rest of December, and I will kind of run the department, signing off on claims and stuff like that,” Luedeman said.

But he hopes to have someone hired by the end of January to start preparing for spring events.

“It’s a big department with a lot going on right now,” he said.

The director is responsible for planning, organizing and directing activities; overseeing programs, facilities and staff; assisting with coordinating Seymour youth baseball and softball leagues and Seymour Soccer Association activities; preparing the department’s budget, grants and annual reports; and assisting with special events, including Seymour Oktoberfest, Cars and Guitars and the Fourth of July celebration.

With the city looking to develop trails throughout the city for walking, running and biking and increasing sporting events, Luedeman said the position is an important one to the public.

Jameson was hired in September 2013, replacing Jeff Vance, who was fired when Luedeman decided the city’s parks department needed to be more active.

“He tried to get a lot done,” Luedeman said of Jameson. “He was aggressive, and that’s what I liked about him. He wasn’t afraid to take on the challenge.”

Jameson said he is proud of what has been accomplished during his two years in the position.

“Establishing Seymour as a baseball/softball tournament destination, upgrading facilities, improving our maintenance operations and adding adult leagues and tournaments,” he said. “I also believe that in other areas, we set a solid foundation for future success.”

He said he believes the next director will be successful because of steps that have been taken.

“I am very excited to see trails development come to fruition,” he said. “With the people involved with the Seymour Trails Committee and a solid bicycle and pedestrian plan, I am confident that will happen.”

Jameson said he will miss the working relationships and friendships he has developed at city hall, especially those in the parks and recreation department.

“It is a very tight-knit group of people who are all working toward the same goal of making our parks great places to play and our programs top-notch,” he said.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.