Embattled Mill Creeks Metro Parks Executive Director Aaron Young is holding on to his position for another three years.
Mill Creek’s Park Board approved the extension on Monday with a 4-1 vote. Young will receive a raise, as well, and is now on track to make $97,000 this year. His salary jumps from $92,000 to $112,000 per year.
Members of the board said Wednesday night they’re working on a new five-year plan for the park and keeping Young adds continuity to their long-term plans.
But not everyone is a fan of this decision.
“I was amenable to modest increases over the last couple of years to his current five-year contract,” said park Commisioner Tom Shipka, who voted against it. “But since we’re only halfway through his current five-year contract, I felt it inappropriate to grant an extension at this juncture.”
The decision was made following an executive session at the regularly scheduled meeting, which commissioners say there was a public vote on.
In a press release, Mill Creek Park praised Young, calling him a “recognized leader among those who manage park districts.”
“There’s a five-year plan that is being initiated,” Commission President Lee Frey said. “And we wanted to give him the opportunity to finish that plan. I think that’s important. He’s gone along with all the different changes we have made.”
But those opposed to Young, like Youngstown resident Bill Adams, have a lot to say about Young’s extended term.
“Just sticking with the facts, it doesn’t make any sense,” Adams said. “It’s such a glowing review, it makes you wonder, ‘Are we talking about the same thing?’
“He’s in the middle of a five-year contract,” Adams added. “At this point, if they wanted to buy him out of a contract, it’s relatively inexpensive. But by increasing the length of the contract and giving him a raise, it’s like they’re done with that.”