Todd Newman

GREG LOWER

The Chanute Recreation Commission approved an agreement Tuesday evening that one board member said effectively makes the Chanute Parks Director the interim rec commission director.

The CRC board approved the retirement of Steve Slane along with a professional services agreement with the city, which board member Matt Godinez said effectively selects Parks Director Todd Newman as interim CRC director.

The agreement is limited to six months while CRC conducts a search for a new director, and CRC will pay the city $2,500 a month. The city will also receive verification that CRC’s audited financials are in good standing, and the city manager and CRC chair will work together to settle any conflicts.

The board met for more than a half-hour in executive session with Newman, City Manager Jeff Cantrell and Chanute City Commissioner Eddie Rosenberger.

CRC Chair Jon Burchett said the CRC needs someone in a leadership role for summer sports and swimming pool operations.

Cantrell said city commissioners are aware of the terms of the agreement and are supportive.

The CRC will also be looking at its sports facilitator position. Current facilitator Jordan Richards plans to step down after July 7, and the board tabled a decision whether to fill the position from within or conduct a search.

Godinez said he has looked at the CRC’s books and it is incredibly overstaffed.

The CRC board also discussed the schedule for preparing the budget. The CRC, whose funds flow through the USD 413 school district, has a July 1 to June 30 budget year, and Burchett said the board will need to meet more than once a month to have the budget ready before the school district’s budget is finalized. The next CRC meeting will be May 9, and Burchett said they would set work sessions then.

He said board members really need to push through the next 60 days.

“July 1 is a fresh start,” Burchett said. “We want to see passion out of people.”

Burchett said Slane has moved the CRC forward and Godinez said Slane left the CRC better than he found it.

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