M'town Parks and Rec Director Retires
Middletown mayor explains status of the township department and Gregg Silva, its longtime director
Nobody had asked, so officials didn’t tell any updated news about recently suspended Middletown Department of Parks and Recreation Director Gregg Silva … until now.
Mayor Tony Fiore was asked; and he told Patch that since Silva’s early December suspension over an undisclosed personnel matter, he has retired.
Still not elaborating on reasons why the longtime township employee was put on the “administrative leave” with pay, citing it as a legally confidential personnel matter, the mayor did say that “Gregg Silva is no longer with Parks and Recreation. As of Jan. 1, he retired. I can’t say anything other than that he retired.”
Speaking only on procedure and background, Fiore added that while on the indefinite leave, Silva decided to retire “and the township decided to grant the request. That agreement was made mutually between the township and Mr. Silva.”
No personnel investigation or hearings ensued, Fiore added, which is customary for civil service employees running the course of a disciplinary action and fighting to keep their job.
With his retirement, the Parks and Recreation director position “as Silva held it” has been eliminated, Fiore added.
Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante has restructured the job, Fiore said. While Mercantante is slated to address that restructuring at the next Township Committee meeting, Fiore did say that the move will translate into transferring the parks part of the job back to the township’s Department of Public Works.
The parks end of the work, for which Silva was responsible during his tenure, entailed managing a staff that maintained the parks — cutting grass, painting of buildings, trash collection upkeep and more.
“The job will now have more of a recreational focus,” Fiore said. The recreational component of the work included: oversight of the township Senior Center at Croydon Hall and the Tonya Keller Community Center, handling concerts in the park and other recreational programming (which the township has cut back on for budgetary reasons), field permit management, acting as a township liaison to the Middletown Cultural and Arts Council and coordination and supervision of summer camp programs.
Clarifying that rumors of former Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill taking Silva’s place were false, Fiore said, “Mr. Mercantante has filled the position internally with an employee who has recreation experience and is quite capable.”
That person, he said, is Janet Adams, who runs the Tonya Keller Community Center and is a familiar face in township recreation. She will handle “recreation programming needs,” the mayor added.
With the township’s new 2011-12 municipal budget, 13 Parks and Recreation jobs were lopped off, eliminating most of the staff and leaving Silva’s and only a few others.
Fiore said Silva’s suspension had nothing to do with budget austerity.