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Beard to fill county parks job

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Executive Ron Woody has filled the vacant parks and recreation director job.
The new hire, Mike Beard, won’t be acting alone, however.
Woody said Beard will share the director duties with Stacey McElhaney, who was already handling some of the job’s responsibilities.
“We have full-time coverage with two part-time individuals,” Woody said.
Woody said Beard is a chemical engineer who works part time at Midway Middle School.
“He will help us through the planning stages of the Swan Pond Sports Complex and then do the regular scheduling and operations of the Roane County Park,” Woody said. “He and Stacey will set up the work schedule and the activity schedule for our park operations.”
The yet-to-be-built complex will feature baseball, softball and soccer fields on land TVA has sat aside for recreation purposes.
Woody said the county will pay Beard $17 per hour to handle the parks and recreation duties part time. He will start working in January.
“We were wanting someone to be able to read blueprints for us,” Woody said. “We’re excited about it for Roane County. We think he’ll do an excellent job on getting this program going.”
Woody said Beard will get full-time benefits.
“Since he’s part time with the schools and he’s going to be part time with us, he will go into the full-time category as a Roane County government employee,” Woody said.
The parks and recreation director job opened up over the summer when Tony Brown left to work for the road department.
Woody said the county wasn’t in a hurry to fill the position because it already had McElhaney handling some of the responsibilities and two full-time employees who were maintaining the grounds and equipment at Roane County Park.
“We wanted to make sure we had somebody that could give us some leadership for the employees, the park mission itself and the leadership on the Swan Pond Sports Complex,” Woody said.