Staffing changes in Bay Roberts
Ian Flynn promoted to recreation director; Delaney to focus on economic development, tourism
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.