Nebraska man hired to lead Mitchell's park and rec departmentMitchell Mayor Lou Sebert has selected a Nebraska man to serve as the city’s new director of parks, recreation and forestry. Dustin Rodick, of Amherst, Neb., is scheduled to start his new job May 24, Sebert said. Rodick succeeds Randy Ahrendt, whose last day on the job was Friday. Ahrendt retired after 20 years of service to the city.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
Mitchell Mayor Lou Sebert has selected a Nebraska man to serve as the city’s new director of parks, recreation and forestry.
Dustin Rodick, of Amherst, Neb., is scheduled to start his new job May 24, Sebert said. Rodick succeeds Randy Ahrendt, whose last day on the job was Friday. Ahrendt retired after 20 years of service to the city.
Rodick is currently employed as park supervisor in Kearney, Neb. Sebert said Rodick’s strong background in parks is important, because Mitchell has an abundance of public land not only in the park system but around Lake Mitchell.
Another quality of Rodick’s that made him stand out was his preparation. He told city officials that he had watched the past two Daily Republic Webcasts of Mitchell City Council meetings and had read the past six months’ worth of City Council minutes.
“So he’s not coming in here with his eyes closed,” Sebert said.
The mayor provided a one-page handout with further details on Rodick. It says Rodick has a bachelor’s degree in zoology and more than 20 years of professional experience. Prior to working in Kearney, he worked in Golden, Colo.
The handout says Rodick spent nearly four years with Jefferson County Parkway in Golden, with the first two in general maintenance of parks, trails, campgrounds and buildings. He advanced to duties that included budget preparation, supervision of contractual services and general park maintenance. He also worked with recruitment of volunteer staff and park-regulations enforcement.
He’s been employed as park supervisor in Kearney for the past 18 years. His responsibilities there have included project development, planning and management; preparation and administration of parks and a capital-project budget; grant-writing and administration of grants; coordination with park users, an advisory board and contractors; establishment of park-use policies; management of staff for concessions and facility operations; and maintenance oversight.
Rodick and his wife, Carol, have two children: a high school senior and a college student.
Sebert said there were nearly 40 applicants for the position, including some in-house. Mitchell’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department has a budget of about $2.5 million and, according to a recently published report, employs 18 full-time and 150 part-time workers. The department also has a seven-member advisory board appointed by the mayor.
Included under the umbrella of the department are the city’s parks, forestry operations, recreation programs, Lake Mitchell Campground, Aquatic Center, Recreation Center, ice arena and Cadwell Sports Complex.