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Vilas County Parks & Trails Specialist Position Defeated


An attempt by the Vilas County board of supervisors to abolish the Parks & Recreation Administrator position formally held by Dale Mayo and create a Parks & Recreation Specialist position failed 11-7  and needed a three-fourths vote, or 14 in support by the 18 supervisors present.

If it had passed, the person filling the position would report and be under the direction of Al Murrray, the forest administrator and be an hourly employee rather than a salaried employee.

“This reorganization was to make the program run smoother,” supervisor Holly Tomlanovich, who chairs the forestry committee, said. “The duties and responsibilities are identical just the chain of command is different.”

Keeping the administrator position was strongly supported by supervisor Art Kunde, a member of the forestry committee who voted not to send the resolution to the county board.

“The amount of work done by the previous administrator (Dale Mayo) enhanced and grew our recreation opportunities and we continue to grow public recreation opportunities on the county forest,” Kunde said. “We need a person focused on parks and recreation that reports to the committee and not the forest administrator. The system is not broken; the forest administrators area of expertise is the county forest and we need the separation.”

Others opposed cited the extensive public outdoor recreation available on the forest that increased the workload with the Torch Lake RV park that’s under another expansion, Tamarack

Springs campground, equestrian camping and trails, off-highway motorcycle system, hunter-hiking trails, bike trails, shooting range, pan fishing piers, boat landings, and ATV/UTV trails.

In addition ATV and snowmobile clubs are not in favor of this change.

Supervisor Jay Verhulst said, “this resolution resolves conflicts within the day-to-day functions of the forestry department.”

Supervisor Mary Rasmussen also was not in favor of the change.

“I feel we need a professional recreation administrator just as we have a professional forest administrator. Recreation is a key factor in our county and I will not support this change.”

The resolution was presented for a roll call a vote of the full county board where 11 voted against and seven in favor therefore the resolution failed to obtain the necessary 14 votes needed of the 18 supervisors present.

Supervisors supporting were Charles Hayes, Ron Kressin, Bill Otterpohl, Carolyn Ritter, Holl Tomlanovich, Jay Verhulst, and Ron DeBruyne.  Supervisors voting against were Marvin Anderson, Mike Biszak, Mike Cady, Bob Hanson, Art Kunde, Walt Maciag, Mike MacKenzie, Tom Maulson, Mary Rasmussen. Dan Swiecichowski, and Pat Weber. Absent were supervisors Gerry Burkett and Al Bauman; there was one position vacant.

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