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Claremont taps Vt. man to fill recreation post

Union Leader Correspondent

November 17. 2013 9:41PM

CLAREMONT — The city has hired a new Parks and Recreation director, City Manager Guy Santagate announced.Mark Brislin, the assistant director of Essex Junction, Vt., Parks and Recreation, will replace longtime director Scott Hausler, who left the position in October, after 17 years with the city.

Hausler is now the assistant director for the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department in Hartford, Vt., where he is a resident.

Brislin is set to take the new position at the end of December, Santagate said Friday.

“We’re delighted with this appointment,” Santagate said.

Several qualified candidates applied for the position, he said. Brislin was chosen for the diversity of his background in recreation, which includes town and city positions.

Brislin earned his associate degree in sports and recreation from Herkimer County Community College in New York. Then he earned a bachelor degree in recreation and leisure services management from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt., in 1997.

His resume includes recreation director in Pittsford, Vt., program director at the Northeast Family YMCA in Haverhill, Mass., and director of the latchkey after-school program in Lawrence, Mass.

“There isn’t much he hasn’t seen,” Santagate said.

Filling the position so quickly benefits operations of the city’s new community center, which opened in April and has more than 4,000 members. Winter is expected to be the center’s busiest season, Santagate said.

“We don’t want a vacancy in this key position during this period of time,” Santagate said, but added, “We didn’t expect to fill it that quickly, but we had good applicants.”

Brislin’s starting salary is $65,000, Santagate said.

Pool decision delayed

The City Council decided on Wednesday to defer a decision on the fate of the John McClane Clark Outdoor Pool at Veterans Park until next year.

Santagate said since there is no rush on the decision, councilors said it would be best to wait till after the New Year when a new member voted in this November will be seated on the council.

Hausler had recommended the pool be demolished and replaced with an aquatic park/splash pad.

Opposition to that plan from some residents spurred a study of the pool.

In October, the Boston-based firm Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc. said in its report that an investment of about $460,000 by the city would be needed to reopen the pool and bathhouse. The study concluded that would not be a cost-effective use of city funds.

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