PERRY TWP. – The Stark Parks board liked its two finalists for director so much that it decided to hire them both.
The board voted unanimously Thursday to appoint township engineer Dan Moeglin to succeed Bob Fonte as executive director of the Stark County Park District.
The board also voted to hire the other finalist, Derek Gordon, as Moeglin’s assistant manager.
Continued:Stark Parks will interview two finalists for the director position on Friday
Continued:Stark Parks Board of Directors to Interview 5 Park Manager Candidates
Gordon has served as the Stark County Library’s Director of Special Projects and Security since 2017. Previously, he served as Director of the Canton Parks System, where he worked with Moeglin. Gordon then became head of the newly merged Canton Parks and Recreation Department.
Moeglin’s salary will be $127,000 per year. Moeglin said he now makes $119,000 a year with Canton. Gordon’s salary will be $90,000 per year. Gordon said he now earns around $75,000 a year for the Stark Library System. Both will get five weeks vacation per year, plus benefits.
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They are expected to start working for Stark Parks on April 4.
Fonte, who is due to retire on May 2 after serving as a Stark Parks director since 1995, earns $100,000 a year, but Stark Parks board chairwoman Denise Freeland said he has no not got a raise since around 2013.
Moeglin, who spoke to about 40 or 50 Stark Parks employees immediately after the vote, later said he sought the job because he enjoyed the parks and trails projects the most while working. for Guangzhou.
“My love and passion has always been nature and the outdoors,” he said, adding that he doesn’t have a specific agenda yet. “My plan is to listen. I really want to listen. I want to learn.”
Board member Bill Bryan said, “I’m very comfortable … that Stark Parks is in good hands with these gentlemen.”
Gordon said while he originally sought the top Stark Parks job because he wanted to take over overseeing a parks system, he accepted the role to work for Moeglin because of their long-standing relationship. .
“If it had been someone else, I don’t know if I would have felt the same way.”
Why did Stark Parks hire two finalists?
Freeland said hiring the two finalists would come at an increased cost.
But the recent departure of Fonte’s assistant as well as some vacancies that offset that cost give the park district greater financial flexibility.
Freeland said the board felt whoever got the director job would need more help.
“It’s a lot of work for one person. It’s a lot to follow for one person. We think it will be more efficient and effective,” Freeland said, adding that the board previously discussed hiring of a new deputy director.
“They’re both exceptional leaders. They have strengths in different areas. We want to use all of those strengths. They have a similar philosophy of parks and leadership. They know each other very well,” she said. .
“They’ve worked together before, and we thought they would make a great team. … They know the community. They know the organizations involved in the parks. They know our staff, a lot of them and they’re very knowledgeable with and committed to the park district.”
Stark Parks Research Process
The council interviewed Moeglin and Gordon for much of Friday. And before their executive session ended, the board opted to hire them both, Freeland said.
Woody Woodward, executive director of the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, with the blessing of board members, offered Moeglin and Gordon the jobs and negotiated their salaries, Freeland said. Stark Parks had hired the association for $16,000 to handle much of the research. Freeland said he received an email Saturday from Woodward saying the two had accepted the offers.
Moeglin has been a Canton City Engineer since 2005, where he oversaw the city’s many road, trail and infrastructure projects. His resume says he sought to build “pedestrian and bicycle friendly corridors” in downtown Guangzhou by “developing and realizing a streetscape plan and a new parking and roadway alignment in diagonal”.
Prior to his work at Canton, Moeglin was a planning and program administrator for the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 11 in New Philadelphia. He also served as Director of Public Works for Summit County Engineer after serving as Deputy Chief Assistant Engineer for Richland County.
Gordon oversaw construction of the Jackson Library branch, renovations of other library branches, worked with Stark Parks to secure a $300,000 grant for the Pioneer Trail through the Malone University campus and oversaw the replacement of the Stadium Park walking track, according to his resume.
Moeglin and Gordon were among 20 candidates and five candidates initially interviewed for the position of director.
Contact Robert at (330) 580-8327 or [email protected] On Twitter: @rwangREP.