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Appointments made to rec board

The city of Ironton has a new recreation board.

At Tuesday night’s special meeting of the Ironton City Council, the appointment of a three-person recreation advisory board passed with a unanimous vote.

Former Councilman Bob Lipker was appointed to a one-year term, John David Willis was appointed to a two-year term, and Joe Fletcher was appointed to a three-year term.

Before a reorganization of the board it was made up of three people recommended by the mayor and approved by the council and two members appointed by the Ironton Board of Education.

Mayor John Elam said the people appointed to the recreation board are all big supporters of the local athletics.

Elam said he served on the council at the same time as Lipker and “he was always an advocate for youth recreational activities.”

Willis was one of the last appointments Elam made to the old rec board and he agreed to be on the new board.

Fletcher is active with the youth programs as well.

“I see him at about every type of sports that I participate in with my children,” Elam said. “I feel very fortunate to be able have such three good, qualified individuals participate and serve on this board.”

He said the staggered terms were done so there would always be experienced people on the board.

“You’re not going to have three new people at once,” he said. “At least two people will have experience.”

In April, council members asked recreation board members to attend a council meeting to answer questions about how the board operated. Some council members said they had heard that the recreation board often went for long periods of time without meeting. They said they were told recreation director Jim Mahlmeister is reportedly being paid full-time wages but has not been not putting in full-time hours because he has another job. He was hired before he began a teaching job. At the time, Malmeister said he was going to resign in August.

On May 24, the council voted to reorganize the board and create a board with the same responsibilities that answers to the mayor.

There is also a search for a new recreation director although there has been discussion in council about whether the position’s salary should be raised.

In other items on the agenda, the councilman approved 75-cent raises for various city department heads and non-union employees to give them parity with the raises that the police and fire unions got earlier this year.