Search begins for permanent parks director; interim Lynch to apply

Monday, August 15, 2011 at 5:47pm

Twenty-one months after the Metro Parks and Recreation Department Board of Directors installed an interim director to replace the departed Roy Wilson, a search for a full-time parks head is taking form.

The board’s search committee is set to meet Aug. 24 to establish a selection process for hiring a permanent parks director, which would include listing job requirements, as well as setting parameters and scope of the search.

Even before that process initiates, the position has already piqued one person’s interest.

Tommy Lynch, the department’s interim director, confirmed to The City Paper Monday intentions to apply for the job. Lynch, 61, has served as the park department’s interim director since November 2009 when he filled the vacancy left by Wilson, who resigned amid controversy after overseeing a budget overage.

“I do plan on applying for it,” said Lynch, who acknowledged considering retirement comes next January. “I feel there’s still a lot more to do. I think I can do it.”

A longtime Metro employee, Lynch is the brother of Metro Public Works Department Director Billy Lynch.

Parks board chair Ivanetta Davis Samuels said now is the right time to begin a search for a permanent leader.

“Things have stabilized,” Samuels said of the time lapsed since Lynch was hired. “It’s just time to try to get some permanent leadership in place.

“Tommy is doing a great job,” she said, adding the nine-member parks board recently welcomed new appointees Phil Ponder and Kay Simmons. “Our board has stabilized in terms of membership, so it’s time for us as a board to enter that phase.”

To curb costs and shorten the timeline, Samuels said the board has decided to conduct the search through the Metro Human Resources Department instead of tapping an outside consulting firm. She said the search committee would decide next week whether to pursue a national search or look internally.

“This is step one,” Samuels said. “We are just getting started.”

Samuels said Lynch has the right to apply no matter what parameters are set. She said the board wouldn’t limit the applicant pool in any way. 

8 Comments on this post:

By: political1iam on 8/15/11 at 4:07

Tommy Lynch has done an outstanding job as interim director and should be made permanent director based on his record in straightening out the mess that the Parks Department had become.
We don't need someone from out of town who does not know and love the City and its park program as Mr. Lynch does.
He should not be penalized because his brother is Director of Public Works. Billy has also done a good job with a shrinking budget.

By: dogmrb on 8/16/11 at 5:19

Tommy Lynch would be the perfect choice, great guy and knows the job!

By: Kosh III on 8/16/11 at 6:11

"said the board has decided to conduct the search through the Metro Human Resources Department instead of tapping an outside consulting firm"

We should do this with EVERY search for any department instead of wasting hundreds of thousands on "consultants" who will tell the Mayor what he wants to hear.

I agree, Lynch knows the department and knows what he's doing.

By: Community-carl-... on 8/16/11 at 7:21

There's an old saying: "If its not broken, don't fix it."

Tommy Lynch has demonstrated the ability to do a great job over the past 21 months.....why waste time and effort conducting a needless search when the right guy is already in place. And the fact that the Parks Board has failed to even begin the process for finding a permanent Parks Director for the past 21 months demonstrates how enept they are. The Parks Board should just go ahead and appoint him as the permanent Parks Director and save everybody the hassle and uncertainty.

By: Carol Williams on 8/16/11 at 7:33

If Tommy Lynch wants to continue as Metro Parks Director, why spend the time, energy, and drama to find someone else. As President of Friends of Shelby Parks, I have worked with him and know he is competent, informed, and dedicated. He knows how to work with people as he listens and explains realistic expectations. Hopefully, our leaders will not mess with a good thing.

By: Nitzche on 8/17/11 at 4:58

Lynch better hurry, this job is on howard gentry"s bucket list!

By: Bellevuebullets on 8/23/11 at 9:03

Something that does need to be looked at very closely by all involved. Charlie Tygard's brother Scott runs a non-profit organization on Metro Parks property with exclusive use rights. In the meantime Scott Tygard is able to pay himself as much as $70,000, $80,000 and numbers I have heard even more for running his non-profit on Metro Parks property that Nashvillians pay for but only those in the WNSL organization can use the facility. Maybe we ought to raise the rent and charge fees to the organization or open it up to all tax payers to use. It is amazing how Metro Schools put in place to charge non-profit for using the Gyms for Basketball, Indoor Soccer, etc. While Scott had secured using Private school gyms. Who backed or started the bill to charge the fees to the local non-profits using the gyms?

By: ladyday1 on 10/31/11 at 1:35

to Carol Williams;
I have tried to work with Tommy Lynch and the Park Board. They do not listen or answer emails or letters. You go before Tommy Lynch who acts like a CZAR. He tells you what he will do. You can show him damage being made to the Park,. You go before the Park Board where he said,"he would make changes". Nothing changes and the killing of the trees continues!!!! I think the Parks department needs to make changes to the board and the director. When their time expires they should get out and let someone new have a chance.
It is strange that someone would serve on a board just to be a YESman to the director. They are not elected officials but act like they are and make your life miserable by decisions they make.