December 1, 2023

Ashland Parks & Rec faces staffing cuts due to budget adjustments

The logo of the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.
July 5, 2022

APRC director estimates cuts to be in range of 2-4 personnel; special meeting Wednesday evening

By Holly Dillemuth,

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission is facing the possibility of cutting up to four personnel, due to 10% budget cuts recommended by City Manager Joe Lessard, according to Michael Black, executive director of APRC.

Black plans to present potential options for ways to move forward with the recommended $790,000 in total proposed cuts, which includes $300,000 from Parks’ ending fund balance during a special meeting via Zoom starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 6. Black indicated while discussion is expected at the meeting, no final decision is expected.

“There’s options of closing programs … then there’s also just an option of drastically  reducing materials and services, which doesn’t make a lot of sense because we’ve already reduced materials and supplies,” Black said. “Materials,” he said, refers to water, fuel, vehicles, utilities, grounds maintenance and associated supplies that are possibly up for cuts.

“I don’t see how this won’t affect full-time positions,” Black added.

“Getting stable funding isn’t the long-term mission of APRC,” APRC Chair Rick Landt  said.

“Our mission is to provide top-notch parks and recreation opportunities our citizens are requesting.”

That includes being able to continue offering amenities such as pickleball courts, Bicycle Skills park, and the city’s dog park, Landt said.

“We’re trying to maintain this excellent parks system with less money,” he said.

“We will not be getting any money from Food & Beverage (tax) into operating expenses …. It’s going into our CIP (capital improvement program).”  

Reach reporter Holly Dillemuth at

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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