Staffing changes in Bay Roberts

Ian Flynn pro­moted to re­cre­ation di­rec­tor; De­laney to fo­cus on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, tourism

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY TERRYROBERTS

The Town of Bay Roberts has com­pleted a notable re­tool­ing at the se­nior staffing level.

Ian Flynn, who has worked as a pro­gram of­fi­cer with the town for eight years, has been pro­moted to over­see the newly cre­ated Depart­ment of Parks and Re­cre­ation, while Ron De­laney has shed parks and re­cre­ation re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and will now over­see a stream­lined Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Tourism.

For Flynn, it’s the ful­fill­ment of a ca­reer am­bi­tion that started 10 years ago while he was in univer­sity, work­ing on a re­cre­ation de­gree.

The 33-year-old stated, “I feel my­self for­tu­nate and blessed to be work­ing in the small com­mu­nity where I grew up.”

For De­laney, be­ing able to fo­cus on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and tourism is a strate­gic move for a town that is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing record growth, and even greater op­por­tu­ni­ties on the hori­zon.

“It’s some­thing that needed to be done,” De­laney said. “I now have the flex­i­bil­ity to move for­ward, know­ing that parks and re­cre­ation is in ca­pa­ble hands.”

De­laney has worked with the town for 15 years, and started out in parks and re­cre­ation. As the town grew, so did his du­ties, with eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and tourism be­ing added.

But the town has been beef­ing up its mar­ket­ing and busi­ness at­trac­tion ac­tiv­i­ties, and wanted De­laney to fo­cus his ef­forts in that direc­tion.

“ We felt ( Ron) had too many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” said Nigel Black, the town’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer. “On the other side of that, maybe Ian needed more re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“We feel it will re­sult in a more ef­fec­tive and efficient op­er­a­tion.”

The town is also a leader in parks and re­cre­ation, and is se­ri­ously pur­su­ing plans to es­tab­lish a new multi-mil­lion-dol­lar in­door re­cre­ation and com­mu­nity cen­tre.

Hav­ing one per­son over­see so many ar­eas was no longer the best use of hu­man re­sources, Black ex­plained.

“ This move will al­low them to con­cen­trate their ef­forts a lit­tle bet­ter,” added Black, who be­came CAO about a year ago. Since his ap­point­ment, Black has been prob­ing nearly ev­ery as­pect of the town’s op­er­a­tions, look­ing for ef­fi­cien­cies and im­prove­ments.

The changes will mean some ex­tra salary costs, but Black be­lieves it’s a worth­while in­vest­ment.

“There’s more than enough work in parks and re­cre­ation to war­rant a di­rec­tor look­ing af­ter it,” he said.

The changes be­came ef­fec­tive in early Jan­uary.

As the new re­cre­ation di­rec­tor, Flynn will over­see a staff of main­te­nance em­ploy­ees, pool staff and sum­mer re­cre­ation pro­gram stu­dents. At its peak in the sum­mer, that num­ber grows to some 50 em­ploy­ees. He will also over­see spe­cial events such as Klondyke Days and the Fes­ti­val of Lights.

Flynn noted the town has in­vested some $ 300,000 in re­cent years to up­grade its six play­grounds. All six fea­ture CSA ap­proved equip­ment. One of his goals is to tar­get ar­eas that lack play­ground in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing Val­leyview sub­di­vi­sion and Farm Road/New Found Lane.

The town has also adopted a new green space pol­icy for sub­di­vi­sions, and Flynn looks for­ward to im­ple­ment­ing those changes.

Flynn de­scribed De­laney as a “great men­tor” and said he’s ex­cited about the chal­lenge that’s been en­trusted to him.

The change comes at a time when Flynn is also mak­ing a name for him­self on the pro­vin­cial scene. In June, he will take over as pres­i­dent of Re­cre­ation New­found­land and Labrador, a post cur­rently held by his coun­ter­part in Car­bon­ear, Rob But­ton.

De­laney de­scribed the changes as a “nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion” for the town, and sug­gested fur­ther changes may be re­quired in the com­ing years.

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