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Parks Director Named

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September 19, 2010 by wcobserver

By Susan McCarthy

West Fork- A long-time West Fork resident was named Parks and Recreation Director after the West Fork Parks Commission hired him in a meeting last Thursday evening.

David Roebke, 36, was hired from a pool of 25 applicants following a two month search to fill the position vacated by Stephen Sprick who resigned to relocate near Arkadelphia to attend college.  His first day on the job was Wednesday, Sept. 8.

“We’re real excited.  We think David will bring a lot to the table,” said John Selph, who chairs the Parks Commission. “He’s a smart guy; he’s rooted in our community.”

Roebke, who has lived in West Fork for 30 years, has served as a volunteer coach for West Fork’s youth football and basketball programs for more than a decade, is a member of the West Fork Volunteer Fire Department and has spent about a year as a member of the West Fork Parks Commission.  He is a 1992 graduate of West Fork High School.

“David has a lot of experience in working with youth,” said Selph.  He’s worked with our youth sports programs like 12 years.  Not because he had kids in it.  He did it because he loves working with kids.”

Selph said Roebke’s position is full time and  his responsibilities will include organizing and managing the city’s summer youth baseball and softball programs, park maintenance, pursuing grants for future parks projects, and promoting use of the parks.  Selph said Roebke will also assist other city employees during the winter months when he is not as busy and will be responsible for developing some new events and activities for all ages.

Roebke joins the city’s staff following 20 years at Washington Regional Hospital, where he most recently served as Distribution Manager and managed a $2 million departmental budget, according to his application.

“I wanted to get back to my community,” said Roebke, who will report to West Fork Business Manager, Michael “Butch” Bartholomew.

Selph said that the city has had four Parks Directors in about ten years.  “We’d like to get one that will stay for a while,” Selph said.  Both Selph and Bartholomew expressed they were happy their best candidate turned out to be from West Fork.

Roebke said he’ll spend his first days on the job getting organized and meeting the rest of the city’s staff.

“I’ve got a lot of ideas,” said Roebke.  He said he’ll be seeking community feedback and encourages anyone with ideas to email him at parks@westforkar.gov.

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