City seeking parks director

Seymour Parks and Recreation Department has been operating without a director since December.

But Mayor Craig Luedeman hopes to remedy that problem by hiring someone later this month to replace Brent Jameson, who resigned to take a teaching and coaching job at Seymour High School.

“We’re still accepting and going through applications,” Luedeman said. “And we’ll be setting up some interviews.”

The city has received 20 or 30 résumés for the position, some with experience in parks and recreation management and others just looking for a job, Luedeman 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.

“We want to make sure we get the right person for the job,” he said.

Originally, Luedeman had hoped to have someone in place by the end of January to help get the city’s parks ready for the spring season.

“The fault has been on my end,” he said. “I’ve been dragging my feet on it.”

There is more urgency for a director this time of year, though, he said, because of the work required to repair and paint equipment, mow and landscape and prepare baseball and softball diamonds and soccer fields for use.

In the absence of a director, Luedeman said he has been relying on Jason Kleber to help run things.

The city chose Kleber to fill the newly created position of athletics director in January 2015. His main job duties are to help schedule, run and attract sporting events and tournaments to the city, especially for youth and adult baseball and softball and youth soccer.

One way the city is doing that is by adding another diamond at Freeman Field Sports Complex. That facility currently has two diamonds, which mainly have been used for adult softball leagues with some use by youth players in recent years.

The parks and recreation department has applied for a $15,000 grant from the Jackson County Visitor Center to help with the cost of building a new diamond. Luedeman said he also included the project in a list of others that will receive funding through $3 million in general obligation bonds city council approved last month.

Luedeman said the additional diamond likely will generate $5,000 to $8,000 a year from tournaments.

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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.