By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said he hopes to have a permanent parks operations director hired within six weeks.
The city launched its own parks department in January, and Kathy Wilkerson has served as the interim director.
Wilkerson — who is a 41-year veteran of the local parks system and served as parks recreation director with the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Department until December — has been offered the permanent job on multiple occasions but has declined it, Gahan said.
Wilkerson has focused on programs for the youth and elderly through much of her career, and would like to return to that role once a director has been hired, he continued.
“I can’t say enough good things about” Wilkerson, Gahan said. “We’re really happy and really confident with where the parks are today.”
Wilkerson echoed Gahan’s comments about her desire to stay with the programming wing of the department.
“I’m not trying to work with budgets. I want to work with people,” she said.
Floyd County named former NA-FC Parks Superintendent Roger Jeffers as its parks director in January.
Gahan said the city has received 27 resumes for its position, including several from outside of Indiana.
“Before we made the selection, we wanted to make sure the parks board had a chance to settle in,” he said.
He added that it’s “safe to say” that Wilkerson will be involved in the hiring process.