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New parks director is 'worth the wait'

Portland native Scott Archer will begin post in March for family reasons

The city has selected the parks and recreation director from Ellensburg, Wash., to fill the same position in Medford.

Scott Archer, 35, who was the city's first choice, won't arrive until spring because he didn't want to disrupt his children's school year.

My family is my decision-making group, he said.

So Archer is planning to begin mid-March, and his family will join him in June.

City Manager Mike Dyal said Archer is worth the wait.

He was our top pick, said Dyal, adding that it would have taken several months to go through the recruitment process again if Archer had not been available.

There were 111 applicants from across the country, according to the city's human resources department.

With an annual salary of &

36;69,300 plus benefits including a &

36;300 per month car allowance, Archer's job requires coordinating all the city's parks and recreation facilities and programs, as well as handling the department's budget and personnel.

Interim Director Greg Jones said he supports the decision.

He's a young professional, he said.

Jones was the city's parks director for 22 years. He retired in July, but was hired back temporarily while the city looked for his replacement.

Jones said he will stay on in some capacity through March, but the details have yet to be worked out.

He said Archer is a good choice for Medford because of his experience.

Part of that experience includes developing a 78-acre sports complex park in Ellensburg.

I've taken it from the master plan to the first phase of construction, said Archer.

He said that Medford's planned sports park will obviously be a priority for him.

The plans are for a 132-acre sports park on Highway 99 across from Bear Creek Corp. which will include softball, baseball, soccer and other sports fields, plus hiking trails.

There are 37 other sites in Medford that the director is in charge of, said Greg Jones, ranging from Prescott Park, which is 1,740 acres, to a half-acre triangle of grass at Court Street and Central Avenue.

Archer grew up outside of Portland and has a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Portland State University. He worked for the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District and ran recreation and sports programs for the Oregon City School District. He has been the parks and recreation director in Ellensburg, Wash. for 3&

189; years and said that part of the appeal of this job was returning to Oregon.

He is working on a masters degree in organizational management through the University of Phoenix Portland campus.

His wife, Tami, grew up in Vancouver, Wash., and is involved in school and community projects. They have three children: Jordan, 10; Megan, 8; and Jacob, 4.

Archer said his is an active family that enjoys golf, tennis, camping and hiking.

We are avid park users ourselves as a family, he said.

Dyal said staff based their decision on Archer's experience, his achievements, and positive statements from references.

He's had experience building a sports park; he's got a good personality; he's a good listener; and he produces results, said Dyal.

Others see added benefits.

It'll be nice to have someone to sit around at the department head meetings who doesn't have gray hair, said Jones.

Reach reporter Meg Landers at 776-4481 or e-mail .