CHESHIRE – After filling the job just over a year ago, the town is again looking for a new recreation director.
Josh Medeiros, who left last Friday for a parks job in Bristol, was hired in November 2017. He took over after the retirement of Bob Ceccolini, who oversaw parks and recreation for more than two decades.
Medeiros’ departure is stalling an effort to decide on a use for the Chapman property next to Bartlem Park.
The Town Council is planning to hire a consultant to help determine what should go on the 10 acres of former farmland. Initial plans slated the property for relocated parking or fields to alleviate Cheshire High School student crossings of Route 10.
Rob Oris, council chairman, said he’d like the new recreation director to help determine the best configuration for activities on the property. He and other councilors tabled action on choosing a consultant for that reason as well as to give the council more time to evaluate the bids.
Oris wants input from residents on the project.
“We want to know what the public wants,” he said.
Voters approved the $3 million purchase of the Chapman land at referendum in 2016.
Lou Zullo, the town’s human resources director, said the job posting for a new recreation director went out this month and has a deadline of March 1 for applications.
“We’re casting a wide net,” he said. “We’re hopeful to get as deep a field as we had when we hired (Medeiros).”
Medeiros is from Bristol and the move to a new job didn’t take town leaders totally by surprise. Zullo said they saw him as a “rising star” but had hoped that he would stay in Cheshire for a few years.
After the application deadline, Zullo said there’d be interviews and any candidate would have to give notice at a current job. He didn’t expect the next director to start until May. With spring programs coming up and municipal budgets being written, it’s a difficult time to be switching jobs.
There’s no interim director named. Zullo said recreation staff are experienced and will be able to keep the department functioning.
“This time of year, the staff knows what needs to be done,” he said.
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