Staff Writer

ASHTABULA - - Residents who play softball or bocce and would like to see more organized activities for youth at city parks, will be happy to know the city may hire a recreation director next year.

The park and recreation boards met for the first time Monday since voting to consolidate Aug. 14. Board members and City Manager Anthony Cantagallo discussed the proposed consolidation and the financial feasibility of hiring a recreation director.

Cantagallo said a new ordinance is needed to combine the two boards, which will make a new nine-member parks and recreation board.

Park board member Bernie Roskovics said the boards want the city to hire a full-time year-round recreation director to do scheduling. Roskovics said problems occurred in the past when the city funded only a part-time director, who worked a few months on and few months off.

"Who wants a job like that?" he asked.

Cantagallo said the boards came to him at the right time of the year.

"The budget is being prepared," he said.

Recreation board member Roxene Trebuchon said she wants to see lots of activities, including ice skating and more band concerts at Walnut Beach.

"There's got to be more to life than bocce," she said.

Emma Dismukes, also a recreation board member, said the city needs more activities for it's youth.

"We tried to do this in the past, but they said the money wasn't there," she said.

Roskovics recalled a time when fishing, cross-country skiing and ice skating were popular at Walnut Beach.

Cantagallo remembered, as well, and promised to talk to the city auditor about how the city can afford a full-time year-round recreation director.

"If the city is going to continue to grow as a vibrant city, these are things we must do," he said. "There (are) lots of things we can do at Walnut Beach."

Star Beacon Print Edition: 9/12/2006

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