Kelley selected by authority as sole candidate for director position

Published 7:42 pm Friday, December 18, 2015

Bainbridge Leisure Services Director Al Kelley was named the sole finalist for the position of director of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Recreation Authority during their meeting Thursday.

“Al has put his heart and soul into the recreation in Bainbridge and Decatur County for more than 30 years,” Recreation Authority Chairman Jeff Findley said. “I have every expectation he will continue to do a fabulous job in his new role as director of the authority.”

The director of the Recreation Authority will be in charge of daily operations and all sports, events and activities the authority puts on.

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Georgia law dictates that before appointing someone as the head of a governmental agency, a waiting period of 14 days must transpire after they are named as a finalist. The Recreation Authority has scheduled to meet on Monday, Jan. 4, to vote on making Kelley the director.

Kelley presented the authority with the current lineup of programs and activities offered by BLS, ranging from youth baseball to the annual Easter egg hunt at the Earle May Boat Basin.

He then followed up with what he would like to see happen under the Recreation Authority, calling his plan a “roadmap.”

“Where do we want to go?” Kelley asked the board. “I got to thinking about the things this authority will have to do to get things in place by July 1.”

Kelley listed developing a budget and finding an office space at the top of his list. He also listed vehicles, machinery, supplies, staff and branding.

“Branding is a big thing,” Kelley said. “We want to tell who we are and what we are about.”

New programs to offer youth and adults were also major points Kelley brought up. Everything from youth soccer and basketball to senior citizen programs, something he believes has been overlooked for a while, and programs for special needs children.

“We have to somehow do a better way of introducing tennis to all economic and social groups,” Kelley said. “We have a lot of the same folks coming by and we want to get more people involved.”

To do that, he recommended offering additional free clinic, doing a better job of scheduling leagues and bidding for more large youth and adult United States Tennis Association tournaments.

One of the biggest capital expenditure projects being planned is a multi-purpose building that will include staff offices, meeting rooms, programs areas, a multipurpose gym and an exercise room.