Ponek announces departure

Ridgecrest Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ponek confirmed this week that he has accepted a position as director of leisure services for Panama City Beach, Fla.

Ponek is departing after 13 years of service to Ridgecrest. At press time, city officials did not outline plans for his replacement. However, in the face of service and facility reductions in the department, the City Council has discussed eliminating the position, which costs the city some $180,000 annually, in favor of hiring a lower-paid recreation manager at a cost of some $80,000.

Ponek’s wife, Jackie, teaches fifth grade for Sierra Sands Unified School District. They have three daughters, Hannah, Beth and Krysta, who attended local schools.

Story First Published: 2013-07-31