|JCPRD names Eddie Coffey new manager of Heritage Park|
Superintendent of Parks and Golf Courses Bill Maasen announced recently that Coffey was selected for the position from among three candidates and will start in his new position on Dec. 13.
Coffey, who lives in Louisburg, replaces longtime Senior Park Manager Cliff Smith, who is retiring effective Dec. 12 after more than 32 years with the park District. The position also includes oversight of the smaller Stanley and Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Parks. Coffey marked 25 years with the District in September and has served a manager of the JCPRD's Streamway Parks System since 1998.
"Eddie will be able to hit the ground running at Heritage Park due to his history at that park and knowledge of the facilities located within the park," Maasen said. "Eddie also has a unique management style that is demonstrated by his listening skills and his willingness to learn before he reacts that will be comfortable to the existing staff at Heritage."
Coffey's time with the District includes about six years at Heritage Park. In his first position with the District as a park worker at Shawnee Mission Park, Coffey was "loaned out" in the early 1980s for about year to help develop the then-new park, including installation of water and electrical lines. After becoming a senior park worker, a seven-month stint as acting Shawnee Mission Park manager, and a hiatus from the District for nearly three years to pursue another opportunity, he returned in spring of 1987 as a park worker at Heritage Park. He worked there until 1992, when he again became a senior park worker at Shawnee Mission Park. In October 1998, he became the Streamway Parks manager.
"I'm kind of excited, Coffey said of his new job. "I think that this position will offer me different challenges; a little bigger crew, different events than I am used to such as MACTA (Mid-America Combined Training Association, an active equestrian group which has offered educational and competitive activities for its members since 1977), and different types of races that happen at Heritage Park. I will be a lot closer to home. The crew has some really good talents that I can learn from. I helped install a lot of the water, electrical and sewer lines at Heritage and Stoll Park so in a way I will going back to where I started. I think I can bring a good positive energy to the position."
Overseeing the completion of a new shop building and a "green" restroom at the off-leash area, both of which are expected to start construction at Heritage Park in 2009, are among the many challenges Coffey sees ahead.