Archive for Thursday, June 23, 2005

Arnold could lose city job

June 23, 2005

Eudora Parks and Recreation director Bobby Arnold apparently will not have his contract renewed when it expires in July.

Eudora mayor Tom Pyle was hesitant to comment on Arnold's employment, saying the discussion was premature because the City Council won't make an official decision until its July 11 meeting. But Pyle said Arnold probably would not be back.

"It's not a case where he's getting fired. It's not he's being let go. It's that he's not being renewed," Pyle said.

Arnold's predecessor, Dianna Beebe, suffered the same fate when the Council chose not to renew her contract as director of Parks and Recreation in July 2003.

The director of parks and recreation is an appointed position, which means the director is hired at the discretion of the mayor and City Council on a yearlong contract.

Arnold was told early so he would have a month to look for a new job, Pyle said.

"That would've been like a slap in the face to do it without notifying him," Pyle said.

Arnold became parks and recreation director after Bill DeWitt served as interim director.

"I've tried to improve and update all the Parks and Recreation services," Arnold said. "I started a dance class and tried to offer more things to do."

From his experience, DeWitt said the job could be hectic.

"It could be an overwhelming position," DeWitt said. "When I had the position the phone rang constantly."

During his time, Arnold saw changes in Eudora and believes the next director will have a difficult time.

"It's going to be hard to get Parks and Recreation around here for a longer stretch," Arnold said.

City Council member Dan Gregg said he was against the mayor's decision.

"I don't support the mayor's decision. I feel Bobby Arnold has done an excellent job," Gregg said. "Hopefully the city will support my opinion and make it known to the other Council members.

Pyle would not comment on the reasons why Arnold's contract wasn't renewed, but he said he has had multiple meetings with Arnold.

"I called him in here and talked to him about some things," Pyle said. "Then I talked to him after I became elected mayor. Either he didn't understand, or he didn't want to understand."

Pyle described the type of person that he and the City Council would be looking for to fill the position.

"Someone who will do the job properly, and do the things that need to be done, things people need done for the people of Eudora," Pyle said. "They have to follow some things the administration wants to make a program like this run smoothly."

The City Council is scheduled to appoint a new director at the July 11 meeting.

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