Barrington Director of Leisure Services position still vacant

Barrington Town Hall, Barrington, Rhode Island

Barrington Town Hall, Barrington, Rhode Island

Four individuals have received in-person interviews to potentially be named the town’s first Director of Leisure Services but as of Friday, Sept. 28, the position remained vacant.

According to Town Manager Peter DeAngelis, work towards filling the post is on-going but no decisions have been made. The town first began advertising for a Director of Leisure Services in July. Since then, human resources manager Mari-Ann Oliveira said a number of candidates received phone interviews in addition to those that were called in.

Mr. DeAngelis said two months isn’t an unusual period of time to fill such a position. He said hiring Ms. Oliveira, for example, was a process that took about three months.

“We’re right on time,” said Mr. DeAngelis, who added that although he would have liked to have made the decision already, the process of scheduling interviews along with other day-in, day-out town functions has the hiring process within his anticipated timeframe.

Mr. DeAngelis has previously stated the Director of Leisure Services will not only take over the responsibilities of the town’s former recreation director but will also be charged with expanding opportunities for local residents in areas such as arts and culture.

The ultimate decision of who is named Director of Leisure Services will be made by Mr. DeAngelis, though he said input from Ms. Oliveira will be part of the process. Mr. DeAngelis said he often utilizes input from department heads when hiring.

The recreation department has been without an official leader since former recreation director John Taylor retired at the end of August. Mr. DeAngelis said recreation department administrator Joan Warren has been handling daily functions of the department such as organizing an annual golf tournament, processing bills and answering questions, among other duties.

Ms Warren identified herself as one finalist for the position at a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Thursday night.

Mr. DeAngelis also said he thanked Mr. Taylor for staying on through the summer, which tends to be the recreation department’s busiest season.

Meanwhile, a separate process continues to move along towards crafting what the town might one day like to see in a full-time recreation director. The town’s parks and recreation commission recently submitted the results of a survey to Ms. Oliveira that will help outline exactly what a full-time recreation director would look like in Barrington.

Commission chairman Michael Seward said the survey was put together through consensus and though some members disagreed on certain items, he anticipates those issues will be forgotten once a job description is finalized.

Commission member Anthony Arico called for the group to take a stand on a full-time recreation director one-way or the other. Mr. Seward countered the move is a change in “paradigm” and planning such a proposal is important.

“A stand will be taken,” Mr. Seward said. “But you don’t want to take a stand without ammunition in your musket … I think that’s why we’re doing this now.”

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