Austin now on park board; Ruzek resigns

Published 10:42 am Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Austin Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is bringing in the new year with a new director and some changes to its board.

Kim Underwood has been promoted from interim director to director, while Jeff Austin is now on the board as the representative from the Austin City Council. Austin takes the place of Pete Christopherson, who didn’t run for re-election to the council.

“It’s wonderful,” board chairperson Darlene Thaisen said about the addition of Austin. “He and I have served on the board before.”

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At Wednesday’s meeting, held at the Parks and Rec office, the board also decided to go ahead with the search for a new administrative assistant, a position previously held by Underwood.

Board officers for 2009 will stay nearly the same as last year.

Thaisen remains chairperson and Gretchen Ramlo remains vice chairperson. The only change is the appointment of Bob Wilson as secretary/treasurer following the announced resignation of board member Dave Ruzek, who was not present at Wednesday’s meeting.

Thaisen said Ruzek did not give a reason for leaving the board.

Mayor Tom Stiehm is expected to make an appointment in the near future regarding a replacement.

The next Parks and Rec meeting is Feb. 4 at 5:15 p.m.