Hobart parks department consolidates staff

2013-11-15T00:00:00Z Hobart parks department consolidates staffDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | A longtime Hobart Parks Department employee has retired and been replaced by a staff member with one year of experience, Parks Superintendent John Mitchell said.

Park secretary Sue Kirkilewski, who has been with the department for 22 years, retired earlier this month, Mitchell said.

Kirkilewsi, who couldn't be reached for comment, also has served as the head of the city's annual Lakefront Festival for 20 years.

Mitchell said Kirkilewski's replacement is Julie Mandon of Hobart, who began working for the city three years ago as an intern.

Her internship entailed assisting Special Events Director Raeann Trakas.

Mandon, who holds a degree in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University, also serves as manager of the Hobart Community Pool during the summer.

She also has knowledge of grant applications and will assist the department in that aspect.

The parks department staff used to have four full-time employees; it now has three.

"We've moved people around so it's opened up another position," Mitchell said.

He has no immediate plans to hire another full-time employee.

"Not right now," Mitchell said.

The park department also hires 22 part-time or seasonal employees during the warm weather months.

That number has been reduced to two during colder weather months.

Although autumn starts a slower time for park activity, parks employees remain busy.

Most are planning ahead for the next season or getting ready for holiday-related activities next month, Mitchell said.

Coming events, which are coordinated with Trakas, include the lighting of the Christmas tree on Dec. 6, the Santa Fun Run and Walk on Dec. 7 and the Hobart Holiday Market on Dec. 8.

Next week, parks department maintenance staff will also be putting up decorations in the city's downtown, Mitchell said.

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