Recreation Program in Jeopardy after Mass Resignation | Athletic Business

Recreation Program in Jeopardy after Mass Resignation

Every member of the Norton, Mass., parks and recreation commission has turned in their resignation after a budget override intended to augment the department’s resources failed to pass.

All seven commissioners resigned during Thursday’s board meeting, and recreation director Bonnie Yezukevich is expected to follow suit at the end of the fiscal year June 30.

A small share of the $2.2 million override was allocated to increase the director position’s hours to full-time. Yezukevich will resign as rec director to accept a different full-time position.

Selectmen chairman Robert Kimball told The Sun Chronicle, “They were very clear during the override process, they were frustrated and overworked, that if the town didn’t provide any more assistance, they would have to step aside.”

According to commission chairwoman Sheri Cohen, the town budget currently dedicates $10,000 annually to the recreation department, which relies heavily on donations and volunteer work.

“The town needs to stand up and value what is going on,” she said. “We can’t do it anymore.”

In the wake of the mass resignation, town selectmen are worried about the future of Norton’s pool and summer recreation program, as well as other events effectuated by the commission.

“The part-time recreation commission has done a lot for the town,” said Kimball. “Some folks have been on for a while. They don’t feel they have the time to continue serving. They’re the only reason we had programs. They’re the ones who kept it going.

One of the celebrations in danger of cancelling in the absence of a rec commission is Founder’s Day, which has been a town tradition since 2011 and is usually held in June.

Kimball told The Sun Chronicle, “I don’t think we have time to pull that off,” but town officials are still hoping that an influx of donations and volunteer help will save the day.

Town Manager Michael Yunits said, “We’re hoping people step forward.”

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