MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019
To keep a department as large as Parks + Rec moving smoothly it takes four very experienced administrative professionals.
Susan Kinnaman, office and volunteer coordinator, said that things are always busy around the parks. “One misconception about the parks department is that they think we have down time in the winter. There is no down time out here.”
Kay Norris an administrative assistant who handles maintenance expenditures agrees. “We never stop spending money. There are always repairs. We never stop fixing water leaks and things that are broken.”
The duties for all of the women have expanded over time.
Norris has been with county for 17 years. “There is something different every day,” she said.
Stephenie Thompson started as an administrative assistant more than two years ago and moved to program analyst with the historic sites division to replace someone who left.
Thompson said she coordinates field trips, helps with events and does whatever needs taking care of.
Jordin Mahnke started as a dispatcher for the Park Rangers nearly five years ago and has also recently been given the duties of information systems coordinator.
She said, “Along with dispatching, answering phones and providing information for visitors, the Rangers now have iPads in the field and I worked with IT to create website where all of our forms and reports live. So there are updates that I do. I take care of teaching them how to us the software on the iPads and just general stuff around the office.”
“Everything changes every day,” she said. “It’s kind of different. You find yourself doing something different but it is very interesting. If you don’t know about it you can learn about it and I find that is the best part. Just learning something new every day.”
Kinnaman, who has been with the department for 15 years, said the biggest part of her job lately is moving the system for tracking volunteers to an online system. Each volunteer can now log their own hours.
They all agree that there is no other department that they would rather work for. “I feel very blessed to be here and be around the people that we are around,” Mahnke said.
According to Kinnaman, “It’s like a family. I have said it so many times, it’s a family.”
Norris agreed the best part of the job is the people she works with but also added, “You see the lake through every window that you look out.”
“I love my job, it’s a great place to work. It’s the only job that I have had that I look forward to coming to work,” Thompson said.