By John L. Ross
The deadline for park manager applications has been extended.
That’s what was learned during a special-called meeting of the Barbourville City Council Tuesday.
According to the agenda, the purpose of the meeting was “to discuss advertising the extension deadline to apply for the positions of ballpark manager and waterpark manager for 2013.”
Mayor David Thompson called the meeting to order, then explained the meeting’s goal. “I guess that’s it,” he finished.
The board was supposed to meet March 21 to actually hire the two park managers, but City Clerk Helen Strong explained there were some discrepancies between the advertising dates, which caused that meeting to be cancelled.
The board asked Strong what day would be suitable for a deadline.
After some brief discussion, April 1 was decided as the new deadline.
Board member Darren West made the motion to extend the deadline to receive applications to 4 p.m. Monday, April 1. That motion was seconded by Board member Sherman Lawson. The board was unanimous in its decision.
The next item was to adjourn the meeting, and a motion was put forth from West.
But one man in the audience wasn’t yet ready to end the meeting.
Resident Kyle Campbell, who has applied for one of the available positions, stood and questioned board members about the process for hiring the two new managers.
After a few moments of apparent uncertainty, West said a motion had already been made to adjourn the meeting “so (we’ve) got to stick to that.”
Campbell was undeterred.
Campbell asked whether the board would conduct interviews or “just look at the applications and pick one.”
Board member Wilma Barnes explained that the personnel committee, consisting of West and board members Ronnie Moore and Gary Williams, would actually make the decision. “Then they present the best” applicants to the full board for approval.
Campbell again asked about an interview process.
“There are no plans for interviews,” West explained, adding that they would receive and review the applications and make a decision based on those applications. Williams also reiterated there would be “no interview.”
Campbell brought up a rumor that was floating around concerning the possibility board members had already chosen their final candidates and that Tuesday’s meeting was “all for show.”
West assured Campbell this was not the case.
“Everybody will be looked at,” he said.
It was learned that people had been contacted concerning the manager positions.
Moore said those calls were not interviews. “The personnel committee did choose managers,” he said, adding that those called were asked “to come to the office to see if they were in agreement” of the job requirements. He also said that was to ensure potential applicants “understood what…they were supposed to do.”
Campbell said after the meeting he just wanted to make sure the hiring process was fair, as he felt “overqualified” to perform the manager duties for which he’s applied.
On Feb. 21, council members held a special-called meeting to discuss the city’s four parks — Thompson Park, the Barbourville Water Park, the ball park on Hinkle Street, and another ball field.
During that meeting, it was decided by council to change the management of the parks.
Moore made the motion that operation of the concession stands at the city park and water park not be bid out, saying that instead, the city should hire an employee to operate the concessions — then all profits at the concession stands will be profit for the city.
Council member Gerald Hyde seconded that motion. Council members were unanimous in their decision.
Moore followed that with a second motion — to hire a water park manager as a city employee, and one of that person’s responsibilities would be to oversee the management of the concession stands.
Williams questioned whether the duties of the concession manager and the water park manager would overlap, but Moore clarified the water park manager would be “over” the concession stand employee(s). Williams then seconded that motion. Again, council members were unanimous in their decision.