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Ice & Sports Complex is without executive director

November 05, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Once again, the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex is without an executive director.

David Bayles, who was hired for the job one year ago today, stepped down about three months ago, according to Carl Langford, the rink's general manager.

The Herald-Mail learned of the vacancy because it's part of a report the Washington County Sports Foundation is scheduled to present to the Hagerstown City Council today.

The Sports Foundation is a nonprofit organization that operates the rink, which is subsidized by the city of Hagerstown.

Bayles was the seventh executive director or interim manager at the rink since it opened in August 1997.

Roberta Rothen, the Sports Foundation's chairwoman, said Bayles left his post on "amicable" terms and still works as a part-time skating instructor. There is a confidential agreement between the Sports Foundation and Bayles about why he left, she said.

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Rothen said the job description of the executive director has never been clearly outlined and the Sports Foundation is working to fix it.

"I'd really like to emphasize marketing. We have someone already who can do the operations," she said, referring to Langford.

Langford said the rest of the staff is pitching in while the rink is without an executive director.

The Sports Foundation hopes to begin its search for a new executive director by the beginning of next year, Rothen said.

"I do not want to rush this," she said. "There have been so many executive directors."

The position probably will become more business- and marketing-oriented, she said. The salary, which is $30,000, may go up.

Rothen said it is hard to find a qualified executive director for that amount of money.

Hagerstown City Councilman Kristin Aleshire said he expects the Sports Foundation to ask the city for more money.

Aleshire, the council's representative on the Sports Foundation board, said he is not in favor of increasing the subsidy. He questioned whether the rink needs an executive director.

"Carl (Langford) has done a tremendous job," he said. "I'm not sure anybody will make the place any more successful."

Rothen said other possibilities include creating a part-time marketing position or looking for a grant to boost the pay of the executive director.

Bayles, a volunteer hockey coach and former assistant manager at the ice rink, was hired to replace Deborah Bauer.

Bauer left the job after 13 months because the Sports Foundation "felt it was necessary to make some changes to increase growth," then-Chairman Jonathan Deckert said a year ago.

Bauer said the executive director job - which includes accounting, payroll, human resources, marketing and advertising - is too much for one person.

"I realistically don't think I could have done any more in that job than what I did," Bauer said last year.

According to Sports Foundation figures, attendance at the rink - counting users and spectators - dropped from 59,692 in 1999-2000 to 57,397 the next year to 55,832 this past year.

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