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Grand Rapids Launches Search for Parks Director

An unfilled parks manager position included in the city’s 2013-2014 budget will be upgraded to a higher level now that voters have approved a seven-year tax. Grand Rapids wants to hire a director of parks and recreation at an annual salary range of $82,250 to $104,862.

The city’s human resources department posted the opening last week.

“The preliminary discussions beforehand that some of us had with the city manager said that you really do need a point person who has the competency to lead fulfillment of the parks vision if that millage passes,” said Mari Beth Jelks, the city’s managing director of administrative services. “The (election) shows it’s a high priority and we really need a director guiding and leading the implementation.

“We are doing a national search and usually that’s about a six-week recruitment process because we have to post in some of the various professional magazines. We want to get the word out.”

Grand Rapids voters on Nov. 5 gave strong support at the polls to a 0.98-mill levy that will add $49 per year to the tax on a $100,000 property. The millage is projected to collect about $4.4 million per year, with about $4 million of that being spent on city parks and swimming pools.

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