Give Now

Columbus Hires New Parks And Rec Director

Parks board members unanimously approved Mark Jones as the new parks director Monday night in Columbus city hall.

columbus city hall

Photo: Danube66 (Flickr)

Parks board members unanimously approved ark Jones as the new parks director Monday night in Columbus city hall.

The city of Columbus has hired Mark Jones as the new director for its Parks and Recreation Department after being nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the Parks Board.

Jones worked within the parks department for 18 years, most recently as director of sports programs and athletic facilities.

“Mark is exceedingly well qualified to lead and advance our Parks and Recreation Department,” Mayor Kristen Brown said in a statement. “He deeply appreciates and understands our outstanding parks and parks facilities, and he has a wealth of experience managing facilities and athletic fields and developing productive relationships with the Parks Department’s user groups and partner organizations.”

Jones’ appointment comes after a seven month ordeal in which the mayor demoted then-parks director Ben Wagner and three of the parks board members subsequently quit.

The mayor moved Wagner to the position of marketing coordinator in late December, accusing him of misusing city credit cards and failing to collect rent from tenants at the Columbus Commons.

City council members questioned whether the mayor’s concerns were valid and hired a lawyer to determine whether she had the authority to demote Wagner. The lawyer told the city council the law was unclear on that matter.

In May, three of the parks four board members resigned, saying they did not feel they were working effectively with the mayor. The mayor then appointed three new members in their place.

The board unanimously approved Jones’ hire as the new director yesterday.

In a press release, the city identified the director’s priorities as “the continued improvement in grounds maintenance, identifying additional operational efficiencies and cost savings and increased customer responsiveness.”

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook