Park commissioners hope to appoint a new superintendent by June 1.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- Thomas J. Carney of Boardman has been appointed interim Mill Creek MetroParks superintendent by a unanimous vote of the park commissioners.
Commissioners appointed him Monday; he will serve until a permanent superintendent replaces William J. Schollaert, who began his retirement last Tuesday. Schollaert, who had been superintendent since 1981, will soon move to Arizona.
"I love the park, and I'm excited about being able to help in the transition," said Carney, a former Boardman trustee, state representative and Mahoning County commissioner.
"I plan to be present in the park on a routine basis," he said, adding that he will visit various park locations while he serves as interim superintendent and will make himself available on a round-the-clock basis.
Carney said he was a casual laborer in Mill Creek Park while he was in high school, helped make the Mahoning County Experiment Farm in Canfield part of the park system while he was a county commissioner, and, mostly recently, worked in support of the successful park replacement levy campaign last fall.
Harry Meshel, park board president, said Carney is a good choice because he is a successful businessman, "a longtime friend and advocate of the park," and an experienced public servant with a thorough understanding of government operations. Carney's compensation remains undecided, Meshel said.
The park board thought it would be most appropriate to appoint an interim superintendent who would not be a candidate for permanent superintendent to avoid giving anyone an unfair advantage, Meshel said. Carney said he is not interested in becoming permanent superintendent.
The application deadline for permanent superintendent is May 1, and commissioners said they hope to select a new superintendent by June 1. About a dozen people have applied for the job, including local and out-of-state candidates, said M. Virginia Dailey, park commissioner. The job, which requires a bachelor's degree in a related field and extensive park management experience, will pay at least $74,750 a year.