Head of Steamboat Parks and Rec resigns | SteamboatToday.com

Head of Steamboat Parks and Rec resigns

John Overstreet resigned as Steamboat Springs parks and recreation director April 27. City officials didn't make the resignation public until May 9.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The city of Steamboat Springs is advertising for a new Parks and Recreation Department director after the resignation of John Overstreet, who held the position for a little more than four years.

The news was made public May 9 when Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Alan Koermer shared the news with his fellow commissioners.

"John Overstreet resigned on April 27. Craig Robinson will be the interim director," Koermer said.

There was no apparent reaction from the other board members.

Asked during a telephone interview on May 11 why the city had not issued a press release about Overstreet's resignation, as it typically would, City Manager Gary Suiter said, "Frankly, John asked me that there not be a press release, and I agreed to that."

When asked if Overstreet was separated from the city for cause, Suiter said, “I never talk about personnel matters. I can say I appreciate the services he provided to the city, and I wish him well.”

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Overstreet was hired for the job by former city manager Deb Hinsvark in late January 2014 from a field of more than 140 applicants.

Reached by phone Monday, Overstreet said he decided to leave his position to pursue other opportunities and for personal reasons. He said, during more than 30 years in the field, including other small towns, he's learned that each has a different version for it’s parks and recreation facilities.

"The value of parks and recreation in Steamboat Springs is so high, so prominent, it's an amazing thing to see," Overstreet said. "I hope it can continue with the appropriate funding. I wish the city all the best, I really do."

Koermer, who has served on the commission for eight years, said he is comfortable with Robinson as the interim director.

"Craig has already been involved," Koermer said. "I think the commission has confidence he will take us in the right direction."

Parks and Rec Commissioner Doug Tumminello told Steamboat Today he didn't perceive any tension or discord in the relationship between the commission and Overstreet.

"As far as I know, there was no friction at all between John and the commission," Tumminello said. "I always enjoyed working with John. I don't know the circumstances of his leaving."

Suiter also expressed his confidence in Robinson in the interim role.

"Craig has in-depth knowledge of all of the operations," Suiter said. "I addressed all the employees. The expectation is, if they need help, come and ask. We are asking them, if there are issues or challenges, to bring it to the attention of management."

The city manager said the search of Overstreet's successor will be national in scope, but the city would not hire a consultant to identify and screen candidates. The salary range listed in the job announcement is $105,176 to $128,841.

"The recruitment will be a pretty open recruitment," Suiter said. "There are fundamental things you have to have — honesty, transparency, integrity, they're kind of assumed. I don't put those in the job announcements. I also have expectations of all management staff to be good decision makers."

Beyond those fundamentals, the city manager said the new parks and recreation director will need to acquire a feel for the community.

"Especially in Steamboat, we have to be able to protect the past, with an eye toward the future," Suiter said. "Cultural heritage is a huge part of our identity. We have to make sure those are concerted efforts. We also need to keep up with cutting-edge concepts."

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.