Parks director search starts – Kewanee Star Courier

By Susan DeVilder
 |  The Star Courier

The search is on for a new Kewanee Park District executive director. The announcement comes just weeks after the park board finalized the retirement plan for the current director, Brian Johnson.

Johnson publicly announced his intent to retire at the end of last year, but the final announcement was only made after the park board agreed to offer him an early retirement incentive that would fund his IMRF for an additional three years. Johnson’s last official day will be April 30.

A special board meeting was set this week to hash out further details on the director position, said Johnson.

A description for the position was recently posted and the requirements for the job include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with the focus of study in parks and recreation, business, advertising or finance.

Candidates will also be required to have three to five years of experience in supervising or management at a director’s level. Supervising 15 to 20 employees at one time and having a working knowledge of the tax levy, general obligation bonding, accounting, purchasing contracts and negotiations in a government setting is also on the list.

Johnson said the board has already rejected the idea of outsourcing the job search. According to Johnson, the Illinois Association of Park Districts provides the service of a director search, but the price tag is $6,000.

“I think they’re more interested in somebody local,” said Johnson. “Someone who would take the job and stay in town like I did.”

Although there are no official candidates yet, Johnson said they have received calls and inquiries about the position and process. Prospective candidates will be required to submit an application and a resume.

Johnson said he believed that everyone who submits the necessary paperwork will get an interview. The current deadline for submission is Feb. 1, but the director said he believed the board could extend that date at the meeting today.

The special meeting was called to discuss compensation, benefits and qualifications of the next director. Johnson, who has been in the position for a quarter of a century, said the experience has been a rewarding one.

“It’s honestly the best job a Kewanee person could ever get,” he said.

Anyone interested in applying for the directorship should respond to the KPD at 1095 Cambridge Road, Kewanee or online at by 3 p.m. Feb. 1.

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