Something’s brewing at the Red Bank Parks and Recreation Department, which has Borough Hall watchers abuzz with speculation. But no one in a position to say what, exactly, is up will say much, citing rules covering government-employee rights.
Here’s what we know.
1. Neither Parks & Rec director Bob Evans nor his assistant, Tamara Young, was included in the list of appointments approved by the council on January 1.
2. A call today to the department was answered by Young, who said Evans was in a meeting and unavailable. Young confirmed that neither she nor Evans had been re-appointed, and said that neither would be able to comment on the situation.
3. Mayor Pasquale Menna declines to discuss why Evans and Young were not among those re-appointed, but says they continue in their jobs under prior appointments.
Beyond, that, though, Menna is mum, citing a state law known as the ‘Rice rule,’ which bars officials from discussing a government employee’s job status prior to that employee having an opportunity to be heard behind closed doors.
“It’s a personnel issue, and it involves things under review by the Borough Attorney,” says Menna.
David Prown, a longtime resident who’s been active in fostering sports and other activities for borough kids, says he’s in the dark. But he credits Evans for having managed a turnaround in the operation in the two or three years he’s been at the helm.
Among the activities Evans initiated, says Prown, were soccer clinics for kids at Count Basie Field , an adult recreation program, and songwriters’ nights to Riverside Gardens Park.
“It’s the breadth of the programs,” says Prown. “He’s one of those guys who always says, ‘yes.’ “