MILL CREEK PARK Director retires early

Schollaert says he retired earlier than expected so he could prepare for a move to Arizona.
CANFIELD -- The Mill Creek MetroParks board is expected to meet at 9 a.m. Friday to select an interim replacement for Superintendent William J. Schollaert, who began his retirement Tuesday.
Carol Potter, public relations and marketing director, said operations will not be affected by the lack of a superintendent. The superintendent, who also serves as secretary to the board, is responsible for managing park operations.
"It's not a big inconvenience," Potter said. "There's not going to be any stoppage of any parks operations at all."
Potter said the board has advertised in several newspapers and on the Internet for a superintendent. Application deadline is May 1. Starting salary is $74,750.
Harry Meshel, board president, said the district is looking for an interim superintendent who has a knowledge of the Mill Creek system and can work well with the park department heads.
"It very likely will come from our own ranks," he said.
Moving to Arizona: The board accepted Schollaert's letter of retirement Monday. Schollaert said Tuesday he's moving to Arizona. "I'm retiring and I'm leaving town," he said, adding that he felt this was the best time for him to retire. He wouldn't comment further.
Schollaert told park commissioners he thought his last day would be May 31 and that he would not work past June 28. He said Tuesday he decided Monday would be his last day because, "I have a lot to do to prepare to move."
Schollaert, a native of Atlasburg, Pa., who became Mill Creek Park's recreation director in 1973, declared his intention to retire in a letter to park commissioners Feb. 8.
The letter followed a 2-1 vote by the commissioners Jan. 29 to reinstate John Balestra, assistant parks maintenance director, with full back pay. Schollaert had fired Balestra on Jan. 18.
At the time of Balestra's reinstatement, Schollaert said he thought the commissioners had lost confidence in him.

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