Friday, December 10, 2010

Parks Department gets new leader

City still looking for new superintendent

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum has promoted Jennifer Smith from superintendent of parks and natural resources to director of the entire Parks and Recreation Department. Photo by David N. Seelig

Jennifer Smith has been promoted from Ketchum's superintendent of parks and natural resources to director of the entire Parks and Recreation Department, but she has been doing both jobs since Dec. 1 as the city works to fill her former position.

The former director, Kirk Mason, retired at the end of November after 30 years of city employment. Smith applied for the position and was interviewed by a three-person board consisting of City Councilman Curtis Kemp, City Administrator Gary Marks and Marks' assistant, Lisa Enurado. The board recommended to the mayor that Smith be chosen, and Mayor Randy Hall agreed with the recommendation. Recreation Supervisor John Kearney also applied for the director position.

"I fully support Jen being picked as the parks director," Kearney said in a phone interview. "She's the right one to take the department into its next phase."

Smith's new job is more administrative, while her former job involved overseeing operations, parks maintenance and contractors. Smith said she's now in charge of the budget and the all-encompassing parks-and-recreation decisions, which will allow her to steer the department.

Smith holds a bachelor's degree in recreation resource management with minors in environmental and wilderness science and management from Oregon State University. Her work history includes recreation positions with Sun Valley Co., the Oregon State Marine Board, the BLM, the city of Corvallis and a nonprofit disability-advocacy organization, Challenge New Mexico. Smith maintains an honorary position on the board of directors for Sun Valley Adaptive Sports after chairing the organization for several years, and continues to assist the organization.

The application deadline is today for the position of parks and natural resources superintendent. Send a resume, cover letter and four professional references to

Smith said she doesn't know if any current Parks and Recreation Department employees are applying for the position.

Trevon Milliard:

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