As of Monday night, Rick Chasteen is no longer the interim recreation director for the Cynthiana/Harrison County Recreation Department. Instead, the 58-year-old local resident is now the full-time recreation director for the CHCRD.
Chasteen was one of 19 applicants for the position that has been open since former director Kenny Copes resignation became effective on May 12.
Chasteen, who is currently working at WCYN as an on-air personality with his daily Coffee Break program was also on the recreation board when Copes announced his intentions to resign. It was at that point that he tossed his hat in the ring as a potential replacement, at least on an interim basis.
I was pretty vocal among our board about some things I thought needed to change at River Road Park and have always been a believer that if a person is willing to complain, he needs to be prepared to come up with a solution, said Chasteen in explaining his reason for accepting the title of interim recreation director. When Kenny announced his decision to resign, it was at a pretty important time of the year for the recreation department. Summer baseball was going on and that is the time when our department is the most visible to the public.
As far as his decision to seek the recreation director position on a permanent basis, Chasteen said there were two factors that most influenced him.
First, my father started River Road Park on this very property and I share his dreams and interests in seeing that it becomes the best it can become. Second, I am on the Oddville Park Master Plan Committee and I see tremendous potential for recreation in Harrison County, and all that it will bring to other facets of our community, if those plans reach fruition.
Chasteen is quick to point out the work that Copes did as the recreation director, and holds out hope that the new recreation park on the Handy property will one day be a boon to the entire community.
Our budget now and in the past has been funded primarily through appropriations from city and county government, and its not a stretch to say that our recreation department provides more recreation for our community on the funds we are allotted than any other recreation department in the commonwealth, said Chasteen who will operate the department on a $130,000 appropriation.
River Road Park is much nicer now than anything that kids of my generation ever had, but it really is just a ball park. If and when the new park becomes operative, it could really provide a lot beyond just recreation to Cynthiana and Harrison County. I can envision a lot of visitors coming to Cynthiana and buying gas, eating at our restaurants and spending money in our businesses.
According to recreation board chairman Rick Arnold, it was Chasteens sincerity and commitment that earned him the job.
Rick wants to fulfill the legacy his dad started when the current ball park was begun in 1972,said Arnold, referring to Earl Chasteen who was the recreation director when construction was begun on River Road Park nearly 40 years ago. We were all impressed with the job he did as our interim director and feel like he is the best person to lead us to bigger and better things.
We were all pleasantly surprised with the quality of all of the applicants that we reviewed, Arnold said on Tuesday. We had applicants from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., New Jersey and Illinois and all of the 19 applicants were highly qualified.
Arnold went on to say that the field was narrowed to five, who were then called in to interview before the six-person recreation board. The board consists of Arnold, Cynthiana mayor Jim Brown, Harrison County Judge Executive Alex Barnett, Michelle Grannis, Tom Leith and Brian Williams.