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The Anderson County Fiscal Court approved a new director for its parks and recreation department, but it wasn’t unanimous.
Nick Satterly, 21, who has worked as the department’s interim director since the death earlier this year of former director Chip Bishop, was approved at a salary of $34,000 a year.
Only Magistrate Kenny Barnett voted against hiring Satterly.
“I do have doubts about this boy,” Barnett said during last Tuesday’s meeting of the fiscal court.
Barnett said he had several concerns, including that he wasn’t aware that the fiscal court’s parks and recreation committee didn’t make him aware of its recommendation before the meeting.
“When I campaigned, people asked me to make my own decisions and not let others tell me how to vote,” Barnett said. “I was uninformed on this, and wasn’t in on the interviews.”
Barnett said he is also concerned about the number of girls playing softball outside of Anderson County, and that he has had complaints from parents.
“There are 200 girls playing in Franklin, Mercer and Woodford counties, and more are ready to go,” Barnett said. “They want to come before the court.”
Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway said anyone with a concern is welcome to attend a fiscal court meeting, but did not want a public discussion about a recent incident involving playing time.
“I know who you are talking about,” Conway told Barnett. “That doesn’t need to be discussed in public.”
Conway later confirmed that the incident involved playing time, and that a parent had called him while he was on his way home. He said he went to the park, and watched as Satterly resolved the issue.
Barnett also expressed concerns that Satterly is being paid to umpire games in the park at the same time he is supposed to be working.
Conway said he is only filling in when an umpire isn’t available.
“There were a lot of comments that he was too young and couldn’t handle the diversity of the job, but he’s doing a good job,” Conway said.
Magistrate David Montgomery agreed.
“He handles himself well and conflicts with parents well,” Montgomery said. “The fields are in good shape, and the park looks better than it has in seven years. He has a few things to work out, but he will overcome them.”
Conway said seven candidates were interviewed for the position, and that it came down to a decision between Satterly and another candidate.
“We just decided that Nick was the best for the job,” said Magistrate Forrest Dale Stevens, a member of the parks and recreation committee.
Conway added that when the former director, Bishop, became ill, he wanted Satterly to help in the park.
“Chip called me before he went into the hospital and told me Nick was the guy for the job,” Conway said.
Conway also addressed Barnett’s concerns about not being involved with interviews for the position. He said Barnett or other magistrates not on the parks and recreation committee cannot sit in because doing so would create a quorum of the fiscal court.