11/24/08 — Director's departure won't slow projects

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Director's departure won't slow projects

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 24, 2008 1:53 PM

With Goldsboro Parks and Recreation director Sonya Shaw leaving the city in December to take a position in Garner, some of the large projects that she plays a major role in -- the Community Recreation Center, Stoney Creek Park and fixing up the city's parks and facilities -- will have to be led by someone else.

At this point, however, City Manager Joe Huffman said he doesn't know whom that person will be.

He plans to speak with city employees, see who is interested and qualified and appoint an interim director once Mrs. Shaw leaves.

But he noted that the current director still has a month before she goes.

"It is business as usual until she leaves," he said. "We have a little time to figure it out."

He says the interim director will likely be someone currently in the Parks and Recreation Department, but he doesn't know if it will be just one person.

"It could be a group of people. It could be an individual," Huffman said. "I have to have some conversations before I figure that out."

He added that he plans to make that decision by early December at the latest.

However, he acknowledged, because there is so much that the city's Parks and Recreation Department is working on, once Mrs. Shaw leaves, much of that burden will fall to him and Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan.

"With the Community Center, I know that's a large project, and there is a lot of items involved with that, so Tasha and I will be involved more with that specifically," he said.

As for Stoney Creek Park, Huffman said the Stoney Creek Park Alliance is doing a great job, and that the group won't need much help to continue the progress of the park.

"Stoney Creek Park has a good citizen committee working toward that. They are going good work. They shouldn't need much in staff support," Huffman said.

And, in terms of fixing up the city's parks and facilities, he added the parks staff will continue to do what they can with the resources they have, including minor work like painting and cleaning.

Huffman also said city officials are looking into submitting several applications for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to help out other parks and facilities needs since he doesn't expect the Stoney Creek Park Alliance to ask for the full $500,000 -- the maximum awarded for the PARTF grant.

"We have so many needs in recreation right now," Huffman said. "We need every penny we can get."

Specifically, the city manager said officials are looking into submitting PARTF grant applications for the Community Recreation Center and the W.A. Foster Center, but that he needed to bring the ideas to the City Council on Dec. 1 to see what direction the members want to go in.

"If there's $500,000 available, we want to get $500,000," Huffman said. "We want to be as competitive as we can. We can legitimately spend money to address some of the needs in recreation."