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Salina parks director honored

At its regular board meeting Monday night, the Salina Town Board recognized a longtime town employee for his efforts in making the town a better place.

Parks and Recreation Administrator James Wemesfelder was commended by the board on Nov. 27 for creating all eight town parks and improving the quality of life for town residents. According to Second Ward Councilor David Stott, Wemesfelder has served the town's parks for 37 years.

When he began [in this position], the town had no playgrounds, Stott said. The parks department had no staff and no budget. Its office was in the town kitchen at town hall.

The town now has eight parks and four pools, one in each ward. In addition to the facilities, Wemesfelder instituted programs which Stott called second to none in New York state, including the Learn-to-Swim program as well as adult and senior recreation programs.

We'd like to recognize this person who has an understanding of what it takes to have programs that enhance and bring out a sense of community, that add to the want of people to live somewhere and improve our quality of life, Stott said.

Stott then moved to have July 1, 2007 and every July 1 thereafter be designated James Wemesfelder Day in the town of Salina. The board unanimously approved the motion. The board also voted to rename Electronics Park in the second ward James Wemesfelder Park on July 1, 2007.

Are you sure you can fit that name on a plaque? Wemesfelder joked. He then thanked the board for the honor. I'm humbled. It makes all the blood, sweat and tears over the years worthwhile.

In other business:

- Third Ward Councilor Michael Giarusso issued a proclamation thanking the Third Ward Men's Club, also known as the Third Ward Community Club Inc., for serving the town for 60 years.

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