New director of recreation

MORRISBURG – South Dundas has a new director of recreation and facilities, Ben Macpherson.

South Dundas treasurer and chief administrative officer Shannon Geraghty confirmed the role change actually took effect January 1, 2017.

Ben Macpherson was hired as South Dundas’ first recreation programming coordinator in 2011.

According to Geraghty, Don Lewis is now supervisor of parks for South Dundas. “Don is within two years of retiring, so we are looking at this as transition planning,” said Geraghty.

“Over the next 19 months, the plan is for Donnie to mentor Ben. We want both of them to play an important role in this transition,” said Geraghty.

For the time being, Macpherson will maintain the recreation programming portfolio.

“We are being proactive. We have to do what’s best for the municipality, in the right way,” said Geraghty.

He sees this transition as a way to avoid the creation of another director’s role.

A report reflecting these changes to the organizational structure will be presented to South Dundas council at the January 17th meeting for approval.

According to the report, “Over the past year, departmental reviews have identified areas to modify due to workload and support. The recreation and facilities review indicated some deficiencies, but more importantly, several opportunities that could aid in the advancement of this department in the next 10-20 years,” Geraghty noted in the report.

The report contains job descriptions for both, and the organizational chart, reflecting the changes. The organizational chart shows that Lewis now reports to Macpherson.

That department’s five labourers also report to Macpherson.

The supervisor of parks is responsible for the overall operation and maintenance of parkland, playing fields, beaches and splash pads.

The director of recreation and facilities’ chief responsibilities are to assess the community’s recreation needs and develop short and long term strategies to meet those needs.

“Change has increasingly become a necessity for organizations to ensure positive progress rather than keeping operations at status-quo,” said Geraghty. “The goal is to shift direction and to improve function of the department and the municipality.”