New parks director expected to focus on quality of life projects

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

The next director of the Clovis Parks and Recreation Department will be expected to shift the emphasis to quality of life projects, city officials said.

City Manager Joe Thomas estimated receiving about 35 to 40 applications for the position being vacated by Rob Carter, who is leaving the city after nine years for a position in Virginia.

Mayor Gayla Brumfield said Tuesday the city’s plan is to fill the director’s position by March.

“He or she would need to get familiar with what we already have,” Brumfield said. “It will take them some time to come in here and look at what’s available, what activities are available and then see what’s needed.”

The intent, Brumfield said, is to have the new director take a focus on possible quality of life projects, including walking trails and youth sports.

“I think some of our parks, we need to add walking trails and bike trails,” Brumfield said. “It’s just grass and it’s hard if you want to ride a bike and just walk around.”

Brumfield said a recent quality of life task force meeting was a bus trip around the city to view its parks and other opportunities for projects. Some ideas bandied about include dog parks and Goodwin Lake, a playa lake the city owns for drainage purposes.

“We’re looking at more soccer fields, more sports,” Brumfield said. “We’re looking to open Goodwin Lake to put in walking trails and an outdoor classroom for kids.”

Thomas said Brumfield’s assertion the candidate would need time to acclimate doesn’t necessarily mean the candidate will be an outside hire.

“We do have some local applicants and certainly, some out of town applicants,” said Thomas.

The minimum annual salary posted for the position is $43,784 with no maximum listed.

Depending on qualifications, Thomas said, the successful candidate could end up around the range of Carter’s outgoing $68,000 salary.