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MetroParks board hires golf pro Dennis Miller as new director



Published: Wed, September 19, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Sean Barron

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The Mill Creek MetroParks board of commissioners has appointed a new executive director, effective Sept. 28.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the board hired Dennis Miller to replace Clarke Johnson, who began as executive director in December 2010 and is stepping down before returning to the Milwaukee area to be with family.

Most recently, Miller, who has been with the park about 14 years, served as its golf director.

His annual salary will be $87,500, noted Bob Durick, board chairman.

Several people who attended the session were angry at what they perceived as an absence of transparency in the hiring, saying that the move lacked public input and was done hastily.

Among those was Tim Raridon of Youngstown, a co-founder of Guardians of Mill Creek Park, a group that’s concerned about possible oil and gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing in the park.

Raridon and others complained that commissioners refused to hear their comments regarding the new hire, as well as the need for more information about Miller’s background and qualifications for the position.

“It’s not a conservative issue; it’s not a liberal issue. It’s an issue of democracy,” Raridon said, regarding the public’s right to have a greater say about the park’s decision-making process.

A few people expressed their desire to work with commissioners, but asked for greater transparency.

Durick said that public comments will be welcome during the board’s next regular meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Mill Creek MetroParks’ Experimental Farm on state Route 46 in Canfield.


Comments

1AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 2 years ago

As with many, I'm looking forward to the next time the Park's tax levy is on the ballot. (I wonder if they have a line item in the budget called "Board First Aid?" They need one since they shoot themselves in the foot so often. Sheesh.)

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2ttup1rd(27 comments)posted 2 years ago

Congrats Dennis !!

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3Attis(879 comments)posted 2 years ago

A public meeting but flat denial of any public comment? What's wrong with this picture? What are these publicly funded characters hiding?

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4HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 2 years ago

You can't make this stuff up, the guy was unable to attend his coronation because he was golfing in Toledo.

I wonder who he is connected to? Connections are far more important than qualifications.

Why the citizens are stupid enough to pass any levy for these clowns is mind boggling.

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5Knightcap(699 comments)posted 2 years ago

I thought he was good on SNL.

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6johnyoung(241 comments)posted 2 years ago

I have always been a staunch supporter of Mill Creek Park, but the Board's actions in this current situation are shaking my faith that its members are operating in the best interests of the taxpayers. The appointment to any public sector position should be accompanied by a transparent selection process. Why should this be any different?

I urge the taxpayers to not throw the baby out with the bath water by voting against future tax renewal levies, but rather to lobby the Board's appointing authority, in this case the Mahoning County Probate judge, to replace the Board members who evidently believe they have unquestionable authority to appoint whomever they want the Director's position.

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7busyman(239 comments)posted 2 years ago

I thought the last few directors had to be degreed up the ya-hoo. A PHD, Masters in environmental and public administration. I guess the new qualifications are the abilitity to hit a long ball and one put. If this guy is qualified, that is fine, but do not discredited the professionalism of this position by filling it with the good old boy ways. The position as a golf course director and pro does not make him the best candidate. The board should open up to the publlic on this one!!!!!!

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8Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years ago

Another vote for public accountability. Miller never bothered to respond to public comments about the golf course changes either. Now he is in Toledo?

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9endthismess(307 comments)posted 2 years ago

Another inside hire for another big blow bag, hired by an inside group of blows bags which the Mahoning county taxpayers are stuck paying for. This "renown" golfer already has a freeking job..he's a "goof" wanna be. This big pro was sooooo busy playing "goof" andd hiding out of town that he dare not be in town when his slime ball friends decided in less than one minute to give him his "new" cronie inside job?? Now...that shows serious intent from this new blow bag inside cronie park hire to make good on his new job! From here on out MY VOTE WILL ALWYS BE NO when it comes to any and all Mill Creek Park tax levies, renewals and the like. All these maggot park board cronies should now be investigated!!! What a group of louses. Volney Rogers would be so disgusted with all these inside park blow bags....who ruin everything they touch when it comes to their low life filthy inside greed and Mahoning County's.... money, money, money!! A serious bunch of legless worm larva, useless inside cronies, slithering about on the taxpayers dime. Pure worthless slobs.

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10DwightK(1256 comments)posted 2 years ago

So the public can have their say but only at the next meeting after the hiring was performed. It's nice to see what the park board thinks about the public.

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11jeepers(127 comments)posted 2 years ago

Sounds fishy to me. What are the qualifications needed for this job? Was this process discussed in a public meeting? Did anyone else with management skills/degrees gat a chance to apply? Need to hear more about this. I have ALWAYS voted yes for the park levies. Now I am a lot older, can't use the park like I did as a younger tax payer. Well these days I am going to have to look closer at what I spend my tax dollars for. If this isn't cleared up to my satisfaction-I could vote a levy down with a clear conscience.

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12JustBS(1 comment)posted 2 years ago

Curious...since the park director position is a full-time job, how much ($$$) persuasion did it take on the part of the park to pay...I mean to convince him to retire from golfing...or is he going to continue to golf while someone else does the job for him?

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13DebbieC(1 comment)posted 2 years ago

Well, he's worked for the park 14 years. I'm sure he knows a lot about the park, how it's run and what is needed to make improvements. Maybe this new appointment was a great choice...I for one am going to start by congratulating him and giving him a chance.

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14Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 12 months ago

" I'm sure he knows a lot about the park..." - -Not when I spoke to him. He was concerned about changing the golf course to suit himself.

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