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Interviews begin Tuesday for Augusta recreation director

Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 5:26 PM
Last updated Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 1:21 AM
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The Augusta Commission and city administrator will start interviews Tuesday with candidates to replace fired Recreation, Parks and Facilities Director Tom Beck.

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The four finalists include the department’s planning and development manager and recreation managers from Tennessee, North Carolina and Connecticut.

Since 1997, finalist Ron Houck has been responsible for supervising Augusta’s sales-tax funded capital improvement projects. He served as Augusta’s community centers supervisor from 1977 to 1986 before a 10-year stint with the Jacksonville, Fla., recreation department.

Houck, who has a bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks administration, became interim recreation director after the commission voted in April to end Beck’s 35-year city recreation career.

Another finalist is Parvin Neloms, the assistant director of parks and recreation for Durham, N.C..

He holds a master’s degree in recreation and leisure studies from Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth University and a bachelor’s degree in sports administration from the University of Southern Mis­sis­sippi, where he served as president of the Southern Miss African-American Association.

He has also held recreation and facilities titles in Tal­ladega, Ala.; Mur­frees­boro, Tenn.; and Nashville, Tenn., according to his résumé.

Also scheduled to interview this week is Brian Borden, the parks and recreation director in Columbia, Tenn., since 2009.

Borden, who holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education and psychology from Middle Tennessee State University, previously held recreation titles in Columbia; Clarksville, Tenn.; and Germantown, Tenn.; according to his résumé.

The final candidate is Robert Levine, the director of parks, recreation and trees in New Haven, Conn. He worked for a year as New Haven’s deputy chief administrative officer and also was assistant superintendent of parks in Roanoke, Va. He has a master’s degree in recreation from Indiana Uni­ver­sity and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Vermont.

Beck sued the city and city administrator in November, claiming he was fired as retaliation for protecting former recreation operations manager Melinda Pearson’s right to compensatory time. City officials termed it “time card fraud.”

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 01/18/13 - 06:47 pm
Institutional Knowledge

So, Beck was director for 35 years. He had a lot of institutional knowledge that pumped up his salary through the years. Whomever of the four candidates they choose for the position, they should start him off at a salary well below what Beck was making when he left. That way, there is room to reward good performance.

What are the chances of that?

wildman 01/21/13 - 07:15 am
Out of Towners

You need to think twice before you leave a job for this one in Augusta. I think I would stay put or look for something somewhere else.

OpenCurtain 01/21/13 - 07:45 pm
Go right

Go with the local guy.

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