City manager: New Cape parks director to be named by next week

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A new Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department director is expected to be named no later than the end of next week, city manager Scott Meyer said Tuesday, though he acknowledged an announcement could come within the next few days.

The appointment will conclude a three-month nationwide search that generated 80 initial applicants which were whittled down to four, Meyer said. The finalists were brought to town for interviews within the last month, he said. Meyer would not name the four finalists, he said, "out of respect for them" and the jobs they have currently.

The decision is Meyer's alone, although he did create a search team that includes a parks department employee, parks advisory board chairman Danny Ess-

ner and Lori Meyer, the city's human resources and risk manager.

When asked if he'd already made a decision, Meyer said he would not say where they are in the process. But he said the search culminated with four quality finalists.

"Any one of them would do a really good job," Meyer said. "It's just a matter of who's the best fit going forward. It's really trying to go from good to great."

The new director will replace Dan Muser, who retired March 11, ending a 25-year career with the department, the last 21 as department head. The new director will oversee 50 full-time and 200 part-time personnel and a $5.1 million operational budget. He or she will also manage the city's 23 parks, three community centers, a swimming pool, the water park, two sports complexes, a golf course, three cemeteries and 11 miles of hiking and biking trails.

The search committee took the 20 best candidates and made a final recommendation of four to the city manager, Essner said.

"They were clearly the top four," Essner said. "A lot of it will come down to what's the best fit for the department and the community."

The job announcement, which ran in national and state parks publications and other media, said the position required "superior leadership and team management qualities, progressive management experience and a thorough understanding of principles and objectives of parks and recreation programs."

The job will pay somewhere in the mid- to upper $60,000 range, slightly less than Muser's $75,000.

The minimum qualifications include a bachelor's degree with coursework in parks and recreation management and five years of experience in a parks-related field.

The position was open to internal candidates as well, but two parks division managers -- Scott and Penny Williams -- were not eligible because city policy doesn't allow a department head to supervise a spouse.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

410 Kiwanis Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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