Reynoldsburg News

Parks and recreation department

Former OSU player scores council OK as director


Reynoldsburg City Council has approved Mayor Brad McCloud's appointment of a new director for the city's parks and recreation department: former Buckeye football player and Ohio State University graduate Joseph Brown.

Council approved the mayoral appointment Monday, Nov. 26.

Brown is currently the recreation superintendent/adaptive sports director for the city of Harker Heights, Texas.

Brown will be paid an annual salary of $62,438, as a full-time, unclassified employee. In addition, he will receive two weeks' vacation, 13 paid holidays and other benefits valued at $17,000, including health, dental, vision, life and short-/long-term disability insurance.

Longtime Parks and Recreation Director Phil Kiser has been filling in on an interim basis since former director Jason Shamblin left in September.

"Brown brings with him visible leadership, strong experience in recreation, adaptive sports and coaching," McCloud wrote in his recommendation for hiring him. "He has strong grant-writing and budgetary experience. He was instrumental in acquiring grant dollars for adaptive sports to Harker Heights, which serves many soldiers from Fort Hood."

McCloud said he believes Brown will be a great addition to the city roster.

"I appreciated his experience and his vision for the department," he said.

Brown said he will begin work in Reynoldsburg on Dec. 10.

"Reynoldsburg is a great community and a great city," he said. "I will love being the director of parks and recreation and I want to continue to develop quality park programs for the community."

Brown was an OSU football student athlete from 1996-2001, then played professional football with the Seattle Seahawks from 2001-2003.

He joined the United States Army in 2003 and was assigned to the 2/75th Ranger Battalion as a forward observer. He deployed to Iraq in April 2005 and was responsible for the direct supervision of 10 Fire Support Army Rangers, according to his resume. He also deployed to Iraq in April 2007.

He received a master's degree in communications from Arkansas State University and served as a graduate assistant football coach for the university in 2008-09.

Brown was hired as athletic coordinator and adaptive sports director by the city of Harker Heights, Texas, in 2009 and became the recreation superintendent there in 2011.

He said the weather contrast from Texas to Ohio will not be a problem.

"My wife and I have two kids and we look forward to showing them four seasons," he said.

In other business Nov. 26, council members approved an ordinance proposed by the finance committee to refinance bonds in the amount of $2,840,000, originally issued in 2003. The legislation was approved as an emergency after one reading.

City Auditor Richard Harris said refinancing the 2003 bonds will save the city about $300,000.

He said the bonds were previously issued to pay expenses associated with improving Main Street and Brice Road, including sidewalk, curbs and pavement removal, constructing concrete and brick sidewalks and other streetscape improvements.

Another ordinance was approved to refinance 2005 bonds of $5,850,000, also originally issued for streetscape improvements on Main Street.

"We will refinance the 2003 bonds for sure, but are putting the 2005 bonds up for refinance to see what we could get," Harris said. "Sometimes you get people to bid for the refinance. It is just like refinancing a house. Someone has the bonds now, but they will be recalled and someone else will have them at a lower rate."