Springfield, MO

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City tabs interim Park Board director

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A longtime employee of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board is set to assume the department’s lead role on an interim basis.

The city of Springfield and the Park Board has named Jim Fisher as interim director of parks, following the retirement of current director Bob Belote, effective Jan. 28, according to a news release. Fisher will serve in the role until a permanent director is named, officials say.

“We appreciate Jim’s willingness to lead our nationally recognized parks system as we continue the nationwide search to replace retiring Director Bob Belote,” Springfield City Manager Jason Gage said in the release. “We are confident he will do a great job in the interim.”

Fisher has served the Park Board as assistant director of administration since June 2015, according to the release, overseeing the golf division, special facilities, business operations, park rangers, Jordan Valley Park and human resources.

Belote, who has served as Park Board director since 2012, announced in October his plan to retire this month, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Fisher has spent nearly 40 years in public parks administration, including stints as director in Clay County outside Kansas City, and for state parks and recreation departments in Independence and Smithville, as well as Canton, Illinois, and Johnson County in Kansas before coming to Springfield.

During his Park Board tenure, Fisher led the department to achieve accreditation through the Commission for the Accreditation of Park and Recreations Agencies, awarded in 2016 and renewed in 2021. He also managed creation of the department’s master plan, adopted in 2021, and oversaw operations of the Springfield Lasers pro tennis franchise through 2021.


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