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Posted: September 10, 2013 9:20 p.m.

No takers for rec director job so far

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Though they’ve been given first dibs on the job, no Newton County employees have yet applied to be the county’s next recreation director.

The recreation director position was posted internally in the county Friday and is set to close this Friday, Sept. 13, but Human Resources Director Becky Heisten said no one had applied as of the end of the day, Tuesday.

The county recently completed the job description, and the job will pay between $58,595 and $75,000. As of 2011, former director Tommy Hailey made $83,137, according to a city salary document. However, he was a city of Covington employee, because city employees were kept on, and phased out over the years, when recreation oversight switched from the city to the county years ago under a special arrangement.

Minimum qualifications for the position are a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management or a related field, with a minimum of seven to 10 years of experience in "recreational programming, supervision, and recreational facility/park maintenance," or other equivalent combinations of education, training and recreational or park experience.

Hailey retired May 1 after nearly a quarter-century with the Recreation Commission. Assistant Recreation Director Anthony Avery has been running the commission’s day-to-day operations and has received some additional compensation, said commission board Chair Danny Stone. If there aren’t enough applications from county employees for the job, the posting will be put out to the general public, Stone said previously.

"Strictly from the fact of boosting morale, we want to give county employees an idea they’re not just spinning their wheels, but if they work hard and do their job, they will have the opportunity to move to a position with more responsibility," Stone said previously. He also said previously a hiring committee of commission members — Stone, the Rev. Ronny Brannen, Flemmie Pitts and Andre Cooper — will do the initial review of applications and select three to five finalists, who then will be interviewed by the recreation commission and possibly the Newton County Board of Commissioners as well. The Recreation Commission is an entity created by the state, which technically gives it the authority to hire a new director under its bylaws. However, Stone said previously that the director will be a county position and much of the commission’s funding is provided by the county, so the two groups were planning to work together.

According to its website, the Recreation Commission has 10 fulltime staff members, five maintenance employees and nine part-time employees. The county cut the Recreation Commission’s funding for the 2013-14 budget year from $1.71 million to $1.62 million.

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