The Recreation Commission is requesting additional funding to enable them to hire a new Director for 30 hours/week. The part-time director recently resigned her position, and the Commission believes that a full-time position with benefits is needed in order for them to manage the Kids at Play summer program, and grow programs throughout the rest of the year.
Recreation Committee Chair Rick Gazoorian and member Rick LaCrosse presented their request during the October 4, 2017 Selectmen’s Meeting.
“We’ve had three recreation directors so far in the history of Upton, they have all been part time, slightly less than 20 hours a week. We have some good programs but we are lacking in a lot of ways and we feel it’s time to move the position to 30 hours,” said Gazoorian.
According to Gazoorian hiring a part time recreation director has challenges. “You don’t exactly get people who are in it for something they really want to do. We get someone who is a stay at home mom who says, ‘I can do this,'”
Gazoorian said, “We have space in the town to do it and I feel it’s time to do it.”
Selectman Bob Fleming asked how many people use the Town’s recreation programs throughout the season.
“We have about 210 in the summer,” Gazoorian said and added that there are a few programs that bring in a handful of people throughout the year.
“What we can offer here is tremendous. I would like to see things that involve ski trips, a science camp in the summertime; you bring in science teacher and make science and math fun,” Gazoorian said.
The committee is asking for $26,000 on Article 3 which would provide the Recreation Director 30 hours a week at $30 dollars an hour.
“I think you can expand your revenue a lot here,” said Selectman Gary Daugherty.
Selectman Chair Jim Brochu inquired if the commission would try and expand other services.
“We don’t have any vacation camps,” said Gazoorian. “I would like to really focus on getting those things going and more things for the seniors as well,” he said. “I want to get the council of aging to get a walking group together…. I would like to have a movie night. I have a lot of ideas but it takes someone to take those ideas and make them happen.”
All three selectmen support the committee’s request for increasing the hours of the Recreation Director from 20 to 30 hours a week. The matter will now go before the townspeople at the Town Meeting for funding approval.
I think the following is an unfortunate choice of words “You don’t exactly get people who are in it for something they really want to do. We get someone who is a stay at home mom who says, ‘I can do this,’”
A full time recreation director will have more time to implement more programs and a greater variety of programs. More programs = more revenue. Looking at what surrounding towns offer, there are programs that Upton could offer that would generate participants, which would generate revenue.
Save $52,000 if we get rid of the recreation director.
How does having a recreation director increase revenue?
Participation costs the town $200 per participant.