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Landis seeks new parks director

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó The town is advertising for a new director of parks to fill a position formerly held by Julie Noblitt.
Town Manager Reed Linn said Thursday that Noblitt is no longer with the town and has not been since August.
He did not elaborate about the circumstances surrounding her departure.
The town is looking for a director who can develop the parks, and for someone with an extensive background with writing grants and working with the private and corporate sector to secure funds for its passive park and to develop the wilderness area near Lake Corriher and the townís reservoir.
In an advertisement, the town is not only seeking someone to be able to secure grant funding, but also create the park departmentís annual budget, attend board meetings and inspect the facilities weekly.
The town hopes to fill the position by early February.
Linn said the new director, depending on qualifications, would have a salary comparable to Noblittís
Noblitt began as a part-time seasonal lifeguard with the town in 1997. In February 2001, she was appointed to the position of parks director with an annual salary of $26,500. Noblitt maintained the same position until leaving Aug. 23 with an annual salary of $30,766.
Town Attorney Rick Locklear noted the town had long been moving toward much of its active programs being taken over by volunteers.
Discussion about a league that would take over the ball programs began in June when the town decided it would no longer handle such programs. The town board had on two occasions voted to disband the recreation department. At Noblittís insistence, the board made some cuts and reorganized.
The Southern Rowan Sports League, which is managed by volunteers, was formed in July. The league buys and provides all necessary equipment, secures team sponsors and establishes league schedules ó duties that used to be handled by the recreation director.
In April, the town opted to have an outside company manage and maintain its pool, which is now handled by Charlotte Swim Club Management Inc. in Huntersville.
Locklear said he believes the direction the town is heading in is one of a passive recreation department.
In addition to allowing people to fish at Lake Corriher, the town also talked in August about clearing an area near Lake Wright for a walking trail, which would connect to the J. Fred Corriher Y.
All of the parks and greenways are a part of the townís Parks and Recreation master plan, which was unveiled at a July 2010 meeting.
Locklear said Noblitt received a severance package.
ěThe agreement was for three months salary for September, October and November,î he said.
Noblitt was paid for all accumulated vacation time. The town will hold her sick leave in accordance with the townís personnel ordinance that states if she becomes employed by any other government agency or municipality, her sick leave will roll over to that entity.
Locklear said the departure was amicable, but he did not provide details as to whether Noblitt was terminated or resigned.
Attempts by the Post to contact Noblitt were unsuccessful.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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