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Parks commission continues exploring possibility of bringing on paid rec employees

Wednesday night, Sunnyside Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer Byron Olson presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission salary data worksheets for parks and recreation directors across Washington state.

The worksheets included three different job descriptions, including directors, managers/supervisors and leader/coordinators. The lowest paid monthly salaries provided were for recreation program leaders/coordinators.

Of those listed, the city of Algona had the lowest salary at $1,615 monthly. That city has a population of just more than 3,000 people.

Maple Valley has a population of more than 22,000 and pays its recreation specialist between $1,600 and $2,100 per month. The salary range for that city's recreation manager is between $5,100 and $6,500 per month. Maple Valley has also set a range of $8,200 and $10,300 per month for a parks and recreation director.

After reviewing the salaries, the local parks and recreation commission agreed the best idea would be to start out with a recreation coordinator in Sunnyside and add positions as funds are increased for the parks and recreation department.

Chairperson Kari Zapata said, "The coordinator would be a lower paid position, allowing us to start a program sooner."

Vice chairperson Doug Rogers was pleased to have in hand a list of salary ranges, but believes the commission should have in hand a list of goals they would like to have accomplished by the parks and recreation employee.

"We want to present our thoughts regarding the responsibilities and goals to give the council the opportunity to make an informed decision," said Rogers.

The commission also plans to request a meeting with staff from the city of Grandview regarding parks and recreation matters. The commission, said Zapata, would like to work with those staff members to devise a plan for reestablishing a parks and recreation position in Sunnyside.

Because the commission feels it is still working through the process of developing a clear proposal for the Sunnyside City Council, the commissioners asked if the scheduled appearance at the Monday, Aug. 1, workshop could be postponed one week.

Zapata told the commissioners she would present a request for the postponement at the Monday, July 25, city council meeting.

Also discussed was the matter of new playground equipment to be installed at Sunnyside's Central Park.

Zapata told the commission Shane Fisher, public works supervisor, is working on ensuring there will not be any utilities damaged during the installation process.

The equipment, said Olson, is scheduled to arrive Monday, Aug. 8.

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