by Lorie Lewis Ham
KRL has been doing a series of articles looking at various aspects of the City of Reedley. We have looked at the Chamber of Commerce, the City Council, chatted with the City Manager, and the Chief of Police, and this week we are taking a look at the Reedley Community Services Department. We sat down with Sarah Reid who is the current Director. Sarah has worked for the City for 16 years, and has been the Director of Community Services for a year.
KRL: What all does the Community Services Department do?
Sarah: The primary goal of the Community Services Department is to serve the entire community from children to seniors through community programs and services. The different divisions within the department are: Aquatics, Recreation, After School, Youth and Adult Sports, Senior Services and Airport.
KRL: Do you know how long the Community Services Department has been in existence?
Sarah: I am not sure but the Community Center was opened in 1973.
KRL: What personally are you responsible for?
Sarah: As the Director, I oversee the department and all operations and staff within the department.
KRL: Why do you feel Community Services is important?
Sarah: The Community Services Department brings balance to the community. The programs and services support a healthy and positive quality of life for the residence. The recreation division offers enrichment and sports opportunities. The Senior Services provides socialization and a safe place for seniors. The department offers many seasonal positions so a lot of what staff does is work with new professionals through coaching and mentorship. Many times the City is the person’s first employment experience and our job is to set them up to be successful in the workforce and in the position they have been hired to do.
KRL: What is the hardest part of what you do?
Sarah: I experience challenges through the work I do but I won’t describe it as being hard. I approach every new challenge with a positive attitude and the opportunity to learn something new.
KRL: What is the most rewarding?
Sarah: Seeing the public enjoy what the department offers. Staff strives to offer programs of interest at a reasonable fee. My proudest moments are seeing the event come to fruition and the smile on people’s faces. That reassures me we hit the mark.
KRL: What are some of the events coming up that Community Services runs?
Sarah: Aquatics, which is the summer swim program. There are private and group lessons available. The pool is also available for public swim on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and Jr. Giants the FREE baseball program for ages 7-13. From July 15-August 2 we offer a Summer Day Camp program for ages 5-12 at the Community Center. Parents may either drop off their child daily or purchase the entire week. Adult Softball takes place during the months of June-August at Camacho Park.
KRL: Are there any future plans in the works for Community Services (new parks, new programs, anything that will be new)
Sarah: The City is currently working on a grant to do some improvements in Camacho Park. New this year is a Camp during the Thanksgiving Break and a Princess Tea in April.
KRL: Who decides what things Community Services does and is responsible for?
Sarah: The department tries to make decisions off the community needs. What are parents asking for, what holes can we fill and what opportunities are available that can fund some of the needs. As a team, the staff discusses goals for the upcoming year and evaluate how things are going. Ultimately, recommendations have to make sense and be approved with the City fiscal budget.
KRL: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Sarah: The Community Service Department is really here to serve the public. Staff does this to the best of their ability and this is shown through the passion they demonstrate through their work.
You can find more of this series in the Community section of KRL. We have spoken with the Chamber of Commerce, the Reedley City Manager, Reedley’s Chief of Police Joe Garza, and the Reedley Museum, and the Reedley City Council so far, if there is anyone related to the city that you would like us to talk to mention it in the comments below.