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Medford creates job paid out of park fund

In spite of governmental belt-tightening, there's a new job in Medford.

The City Council voted on Thursday 5-2 with one abstention to authorize the city to advertise for a design and construction manager.

The new full-time employee would earn from &

36;4,066 to &

36;5,188 monthly plus benefits. At least 80 percent of the position's cost would be financed through a dedicated parks fund, with the remainder coming from the city's general fund.

Councilwoman Claudette Moore pointed out that because the money to fund the position is in a dedicated parks fund, that money could not be used for other things, such as capital projects.

However, not everyone on the council supported creating a new job now.

I voted against it because of the timing, said Councilman Ed Chun in a telephone interview.

He said he thinks the position will more than pay for itself, but he would like to wait until the budget committee meets in April.

It's nice to have those additional eyes and minds and comments from people in the community, he said.

He said he'd like Scott Archer, the new parks and recreation department director, to have input, and he won't begin his job until March.

I'd at least like to have him involved in the process, too, said Chun.

The current parks director, Greg Jones, said he's excited there will be someone to help with the heavy load.

It'll give us more opportunity to get projects put together and get them out, he said.

From coordinating volunteers and managing aspects of the new Medford sports park to handling land purchases and completing some of the school and neighborhood parks projects, the new person will have plenty to do, said Jones.

The fund has a continual source of funding, said Jones.

It's money that has been coming in from hotel and motel tax, SDC fees (system development charges paid with construction permits) and the business licenses, he said.

The city plans to post the position in January and the new hire would begin in April.

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