Patin takes job at City Hall

Patin takes job at City Hall Just days after a surprise announcement last week that Mayor Pro Tem Jason Patin was resigning his position on the Ridgecrest City Council, City Manager Dennis Speer announced that Patin was hired to replace departing Parks and Recreation Manager Jim Ponek.

Monday’s press release noted that in the absence of Ponek, the city needed to fill the vacancy immediately.

Speer told the News Review last week that he intended to close the department manager position and hire a lower-paid employee to oversee programs while maintenance responsibilities would be absorbed by the public works department.

“The position that most closely represents the need is that of recreation supervisor,” reads the press release. When asked how much the position pays, Speer responded that he made an offer of approximately $62,000 per year.

“As you are aware, there are many recreation issues that require attention. These include the coordination with community groups for the use of the fields, the oversight of and operation and maintenance of the recreation facilities, the negotiations with Kern County regarding the LeRoy Jackson Park lease, the assistance with the BAD formation and the involvement with the proposed Parks and Recreation TAB projects,” Speer stated in the press release.

“All of these issues are timely and indicate the need to fill the position at the earliest possible time.”

Speer said that Patin approached him after his resignation and discussed the city’s parks and recreation needs. “He explained his experience and knowledge of the various programs and prior interaction with community groups.

“It was apparent during our discussion that he is dedicated and committed to the success of parks and recreation programs.

“I believe that he will perform well as the Interim Recreation Supervisor. Subsequently, I offered the interim position to him and he accepted. It is understood that this is a provisional appointment. As such, a formal recruitment for the position must be completed within six months.”

Speer said that he will begin the recruitment process, which includes a public listing of the position, in October.

The News Review asked Patin to comment on his new appointment. He did not respond by press time.

Story First Published: 2013-08-21