WALLINGFORD — The Select Board wants to hear from residents about whether the town needs a recreation director.
A special meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Town Hall to hear from residents. People can send comments in writing to Wallingford Town Administrator, 75 School St., Wallingford, VT 05773, or email opinions to email@example.com
Michelle Kenny, chairwoman of the Recreation Committee, which recommends the town hire a recreation director, said Wednesday the position as it’s been contemplated would pay $35,000 per year plus benefits. Kenny said based on the committee’s research, that wage is the low-end of the job’s pay scale across the region.
Kenny, who’s led the Recreation Committee for the past year, said the topic of having a recreation director first came up two years ago. She said the Vermont Council on Rural Development came to Wallingford and helped it organize a number of committees as well as get feedback from residents about initiatives they wanted to see in town.
Kenny said one item that kept cropping up in all of the discussions was that people want more recreation opportunities in Wallingford.
She said the committee believes a full-time director would be able to maintain the recreation programs Wallingford has now as well as improve them and bring on more.
According to Kenny, the volunteer base the town relies on for these programs is stretched thin, and it’s led to assets being neglected.
Kenny said the committee has heard from many residents saying they like the programs they have now but feel more could be done with adult outdoor recreation such as hiking, bicycling and swimming opportunities. Zumba, art and music classes are also activities people have mentioned they’d like to see organized.
She said the Recreation Committee will meet Dec. 10 and will make a presentation at the Dec. 17 Select Board meeting.
She said the committee understands concerns people have about the position’s cost and the need for it, but feels it would be worthwhile in the long run as a way to make the town more attractive for potential residents.
Wallingford resident Lynn Edmunds said Wednesday he’s not for or against the proposal, but is concerned it’s not being properly vetted by residents. He said the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s visits seem to have made a “frenzy” toward creating the position when the discussion should be longer and more thorough.
He said he’s not sure if the position is a want or a need, but hopes more questions will be asked.