Mayor's Office aide Jim Hester takes new job at Metro Parks

Friday, September 2, 2011 at 4:24pm

Mayor’s Office aide Jim Hester is set to move to the Metro Parks and Recreation Department as special assistant to the parks director beginning next week, The City Paper has learned.

Hester, a former operative for the Tennessee Democratic Party, first began working for Mayor Karl Dean as campaign manager in the 2007 mayoral election before serving as one of the mayor’s senior advisors over the last four years. Hester stayed in the Mayor’s Office this past election cycle rather than shifting to the mayor’s re-election efforts.

Hester’s appointment to the position had been rumored for weeks. Mayor’s Office spokeswoman Bonna Johnson confirmed Hester’s job transition late Friday. She did not know his new salary.

“Jim is a dedicated public servant who has spent the past four years helping our city move forward,” Dean said in a statement.

“Like me, Jim shares my passion for our city’s park system and making Nashville a more livable and active city,” he added.

Hester, who also aided Dean’s political effort to defeat the 2009 English-only referendum, will begin his new parks position Tuesday.

Hester said he has pondered working for the parks department for a while, adding that he's always enjoyed participating in parks activities. 

"One of my favorite leisure-time activities is parks — greenways, hiking," Hester said. "I've got two canoes. I go backpacking all the time. 

"I think it's the best department in Metro to work for," he said. "They've got really good people over there, a great board and a great director. It's a good opportunity for me." 

Interim Director Tommy Lynch, unavailable for comment Friday, currently manages the parks department. The parks board is in the process of conducting a search for a full-time director. Lynch has said he plans to apply.

Johnson said Hester’s responsibilities at the parks department would include overseeing special events, assisting with Metro’s open space plan and directing grant writing. She said Hester would assume other duties as they arise.

Johnson did not know whether Hester’s position is newly created. 

10 Comments on this post:

By: las04 on 9/2/11 at 4:14

Excuse my language but I have had enough of Karl "FffffN" Deans BS. He cut hourly positions to replace them with HUGE part-time salaried positions. That makes about as much sense as the new convention center we will be paying for. What a pompous jerk, I hope all your family and friends reap well while they can. You know the old saying "EASY COME EASY GO"....!!!! See ya on the golf-courts JERKS.

By: Funditto on 9/2/11 at 4:28

Tommy L deserves this job.

By: govskeptic on 9/2/11 at 6:02

Gotta keep the crack insider team together for the next political race. Probably
for Congress, if retirement of Cooper comes along, or maybe the much more uphill
run for Alexander's seat! Newly created jobs in this economy???

By: CrisCan on 9/3/11 at 6:25

Yep . . . the rumor is that King Dean wants to be governor.

Worst mayor of any city in which I have ever lived, and the most transparent in terms of political ambition and lack of political skill.

By: bfra on 9/3/11 at 8:08

Karl is like Boner in more ways than one, he got elected but, you can't find many that will admit they voted for him.

By: treehugger7 on 9/3/11 at 8:14

Whatever he did, he will always have be better than bob clement would have been. Folks, we really dodged a bullet there!

By: bfra on 9/3/11 at 9:03

Treehugger - WRONG! Bob Clement has "common sense"!

By: dva56 on 9/3/11 at 1:05

@ las04, you are so right. What a waste to build a state of the art convention center which will bring additional 10's of 1000's of visitors and millions of dollars to the Nashville economy. I, like you, wish for the good old days when lower Broadway was the place to take in a quick skin flick and pick up a prostitute.

By: bfra on 9/3/11 at 2:10

dva56 - That is still possible on lower Broadway. This convention center is nothing but a pie-in-the-sky, ego boost for Karl and his pipe dreams. Not even near finished and already over budget.

By: cannoneer2 on 9/3/11 at 10:21

Looks like the Dean Administration is metastasizing.....