PAOLA — Wesley Joy is the first director of the recently formed Paola Recreation Commission.
Joy, who previously served as the sports and special services director for the Winfield Recreation Commission in Winfield, Kan., was introduced during a recent Paola City Council meeting and again during the State of the City Breakfast at the Paola Country Club.
Joy said he is originally from Burlington, Kan., and is familiar with the Miami County area. Before his recent stint in Winfield, Joy said he worked in the parks and recreation field in Colorado.
Joy said he expects to spend his first year getting his feet wet and overseeing the transition from Paola Youth Sports to the Paola Recreation Commission. He then hopes to add a few more community events for adults, which is something he has overseen in the past.
Joy was introduced by Paola school board member Scott Golubski, who also serves on the Paola Recreation Commission Board of Directors and has been heavily involved with Paola Youth Sports.
Golubski said soccer currently is using the Paola Youth Sports website, but everything will be transitioned after that, with baseball and softball and other sports being handled by the new Paola Recreation Commission.
“Now is the time to move on to somebody to take us to the next level,” Golubski said.
The possibility of a recreation commission in Paola has been talked about for years, but that talk became reality in 2021 thanks to voters who narrowly approved its creation during the November general election.
The recreation commission is a joint venture between the city of Paola and Paola USD 368. Voters agreed to establish a one-mill levy using the school district’s tax base. Organizers of the commission wanted to use the school district’s tax base because it is larger, but it also meant that voters outside of Paola’s city limits would be able to have a say in the election.
Voters narrowly approved it by 12 votes with 636 “yes” votes compared to 624 “no” votes.
Although the recreation commission ballot question passed, the entity wasn’t able to levy the tax until July 1, 2022, when it was added to the school district’s budget, and the commission didn’t see tax revenue until January 2023.
Paola Recreation Commission meetings are held at Paola City Hall on the second Wednesday of each month starting at 7 p.m.
Members of the Paola Recreation Commission Board of Directors are Tate Shumard and Aaron Nickelson representing city of Paola; Scott Golubski and Justin Smail representing Paola USD 368; and David Kane representing the at-large position.
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