Twenty-one months after the Metro Parks and Recreation Department Board of Directors installed an interim director to replace the departed Roy Wilson, a search for a full-time parks head is taking form.
The board’s search committee is set to meet Aug. 24 to establish a selection process for hiring a permanent parks director, which would include listing job requirements, as well as setting parameters and scope of the search.
Even before that process initiates, the position has already piqued one person’s interest.
Tommy Lynch, the department’s interim director, confirmed to The City Paper Monday intentions to apply for the job. Lynch, 61, has served as the park department’s interim director since November 2009 when he filled the vacancy left by Wilson, who resigned amid controversy after overseeing a budget overage.
“I do plan on applying for it,” said Lynch, who acknowledged considering retirement comes next January. “I feel there’s still a lot more to do. I think I can do it.”
A longtime Metro employee, Lynch is the brother of Metro Public Works Department Director Billy Lynch.
Parks board chair Ivanetta Davis Samuels said now is the right time to begin a search for a permanent leader.
“Things have stabilized,” Samuels said of the time lapsed since Lynch was hired. “It’s just time to try to get some permanent leadership in place.
“Tommy is doing a great job,” she said, adding the nine-member parks board recently welcomed new appointees Phil Ponder and Kay Simmons. “Our board has stabilized in terms of membership, so it’s time for us as a board to enter that phase.”
To curb costs and shorten the timeline, Samuels said the board has decided to conduct the search through the Metro Human Resources Department instead of tapping an outside consulting firm. She said the search committee would decide next week whether to pursue a national search or look internally.
“This is step one,” Samuels said. “We are just getting started.”
Samuels said Lynch has the right to apply no matter what parameters are set. She said the board wouldn’t limit the applicant pool in any way.