Naples turns to full-time rec director


By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The Town of Naples has fit a recreation director position into its upcoming budget after deciding a full-time position would be a better fit for the town than the current part-time one.

Already, the full-time recreation director job opening has drawn 20 applications that Naples Town Manager John Hawley will be reviewing.

The creation of the expanded position in the town’s recreation department came to light during the Naples Board of Selectmen meeting.

On Monday, more than a half-dozen people spoke during public participation on the positive qualities of current Recreation Director Harvey Price, prompting the chairman of the board to explain the job opening.

“With the number of comments made here, I want to make some comments for the public’s benefit,” Chairman Jim Grattelo said.

“The concerns that have been raised over the last year, both for and against, have caused the [board of selectmen] to step back and take a look at the entire operation. We have listened to everyone from both sides,” Grattelo said.

The selectmen have examined the recreation department and the job description for the recreation director. According to Grattelo they asked themselves, “Are we expecting something that couldn’t be done by one individual? Do we have to change the job description?”

Apparently, the answers to those questions were yes.

“We changed the job significantly enough — we added responsibilities, turned it into full-time — that the right thing to do is to open that job,” Grattelo said.

“We would do a disservice not to re-open the job because of the changes made to the job,” he said.

Therefore, the full-time Naples recreation director position was listed as a job vacancy in the state of Maine, Grattelo said. He said posting the job opening is what would be done in any municipality, rather than hiring internally.

Early on, Grattelo addressed a comment make by Naples resident Russel “Rusty” Kelley, who said, “For Harvey to have to reapply for the job that he has had for some time, I think it’s crazy.”

Grattelo said, “This is not a ‘railroad job,’”

He told the audience that Price had applied and would have the advantage of already having worked in the Town of Naples part-time and being very familiar with the department’s programs.

“The town manager is going to look through the applications. There are about 20,” he said.

There was no set deadline for the position to be filled, but it would be contingent on the passage of the recreation department budget during the town meeting.

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