Sixty-eight people have applied so far for the top job at the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission, according to records released by BREC.
The position has attracted a broad range of applicants from diverse backgrounds, including one who was a top finalist in 2006 during the last search for a BREC superintendent, records show.
In addition to current and former park system managers from several states, applicants include people working as consultants, retail store and restaurant managers, contractors, sales people and in a variety of other positions.
BREC’s governing board is scheduled to decide in late October on a replacement for Bill Palmer, who is winding up a 32-year career with the parks department.
BREC Chairman Bill Benedetto said the application process will remain open until Sept. 19. A consulting firm is continuing to scout across the country for potential candidates who work for “highly rated” park systems and might have an interest in applying, he said.
The job description for the position says the salary is negotiable and would be in the same range as those for similar positions elsewhere in the country, Benedetto said.
BREC released the applications submitted so far in response to a Public Records Act request filed by The Advocate.
Two applicants withdrew their names from consideration after they were advised their names would be made public, Benedetto said, citing concerns they might lose their current jobs if it became known they were seeking other employment.
“One was highly qualified and had a good résumé,” Benedetto said. “It was certainly one we would have liked to have considered.”
No current BREC employees are among those who have applied to date for the agency’s top position.
One applicant, Stanley G. Motley, was one of the two finalists to head the park system in 2006 — losing out to Palmer, who was then serving as BREC’s interim superintendent.
Motley, who resides in Wildwood, Mo., has been a director or manager of park systems in Atlanta, the Chicago suburb Oak Brook, Ill., Tampa, Fla., and other cities.
His résumé shows his last position, from 2009-10, was as director of parks and recreation in Fulton County, Ga., the largest county park system in that state. Prior to that, he spent three years as the executive director of the Oak Brook Park District in Illinois.
Motley served as director of parks and recreation in Fulton County from 1995-2000, according to his résumé.
Other applicants with a background in park and recreation management include John R. Pope Jr., former director of parks, recreation and community facilities in Richmond, Va.; Roger Blakeley, deputy director of recreation, parks and cultural activities in Alexandria, Va.; and Charlene A. Braud, a former director of recreation for the city of New Orleans who, since 2005, has been director of recreation for Atlanta.
Others also with a background in park and recreation management include Carolyn McKnight-Bray, former assistant director of parks and recreation in Dallas; Shawn R.C. Schmidt, who has held administrative positions in Chicago’s park system; and John P. Skeel, who has managed or overseen park systems in El Dorado, Calif., and Evergreen, Colo.
Others include Jerry Smith, of San Antonio, a manager/director for the Bexar County, Texas, park system; Gary P. Salva, an administrator with the unified government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, and former director of parks and recreation for Jackson County, Mo.; and David L. Peek, former executive director of the Sycamore, Ill., Park District.
Others applicants with a background in park management are Dwayne B. Thomas, director of parks, recreation and enrichment for the city of Harrisburg, Pa.; Oscar Carmona, former park superintendent of Arlington, Texas; and William J. Weber, superintendent of the Wellington Recreation Commission in Wellington, Kan.
Others who applied are on the list that follows, with the cities identified for those who applied from outside East Baton Rouge Parish.
Lee Dell Woods Jr., Port Allen
Allison Behrman, Davie, Fla.
E. Jay Ellington, Montclair, Va.
Donald A. Clark
Frank H. Davis
Donna Dugue, New Orleans
Richard A. Tompkins, Alexandria
Rusty Freeman Bahr, Wyomissing, Pa.
Chester Leonard Johnson, Lockport, Ill.
John Beard, Prairieville
Elihu Gillespie Jr., Aubrey, Texas
Matthew Weaver, Keansburg, N.J.
Delson Adeoye, Atlanta
Jason J. Band
Raymond R. “Rob” Bigalke
Darnell Bolton, Reno, Nev.
Keith J. Bordelon
Rene Brining, Slidell
Corey Carter Sr., New Orleans
Ashley Cravens, Sunrise Beach, Mo.
MaryAnne Cunningham-Ismael, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Elbert D. Dixon Jr.
Gary Wayne Friedrich, San Antonio, Texas
Kwesi C. Gilbert
Aaron Gobert, Denham Springs
Philip Henry Godfrey II
Walter J. “Trey” Haney III
Danny Hawthorne, Azle, Texas
Stephen Hickman, Castor
Mark Stephan Immasche
Derrick Jackson, Gonzales
Janie Wells Kelly
Jacob Labauve, Prairieville
Shemika Lanry, Donaldsonville
Richard B. Lloyd, Toledo, Ohio
Linda G. McCarthy, Diamondhead, Miss.
Vertina Overton, Grosse Tete
Debra Pelletier, Issaquah, Wash.
Michael Ananias Phelps, Springfield, Ohio
Karl Reichman, Jackson
Brandon Ray, Denham Springs
Robert B. Cooper
Lynn Taylor, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.