Council slices into Racquet Center budget

Supervisor’s position eliminated

Bill Van Glabek is no longer supervisor for the city of Marco Island Racquet Center. The position was cut in the City budget. He will remain as a part-time employee and instructor

Photo by ROGER LALONDE, Eagle staff

Bill Van Glabek is no longer supervisor for the city of Marco Island Racquet Center. The position was cut in the City budget. He will remain as a part-time employee and instructor

No stone is going unturned as Marco Island City Council continues to seek budget cuts.

This time the slice comes in the Parks & Recreation Department budget. Specifically, the City Racquet Center.

Supervisor Bill Van Glabek’s full-time position is being chopped. His position becomes part time, effective Oct. 1. With benefits, Van Glabek’s total package had been $57,000 annually.

“A membership fee increase is not on the table,” said Bryan Milk, Parks & Recreation director.

It was first reported in the Eagle that membership fees would increase from $300 to $350 annually, but Milk decided against an increase after the City Council’s budget meeting on Monday.

“We hope to derive new revenues from adding programs, tournaments and league competitions,” Milk said.

In looking for ways to save money, Milk decided on making the Racquet Center staff all part-time employees, saving benefit dollars that would have been given to full-time employees.

The action will leave five part-time employees, with hourly wages ranging from $10 to $11.50 an hour, Milk said.

Remaining as part-time employees, along with Van Glabek, are Lee Ross, maintenance, and Phyllis Kirkpatrick, Ann LeBlanc and Carol Halaschak, pro shop attendants.

“While restructuring, I also felt it was important to give Bill (Van Glabek) an opportunity to stay with the program.”

With other city budget cuts made at director and supervisory levels, Van Glabek knew the action was coming, as the Racquet Center was in the red by $70,000 and has not made a profit in some time.

He will continue some supervisory duties, while also having the ability to be a teaching pro, which he hasn’t done since taking the supervisor’s position three years ago.

“I understand it needed to be done,” Van Glabek said, “but I want to continue to help improve services. We are doing good things here and want to continue.”

The change does not involve tennis professionals Wayne Clark or Gary McDevitt who are under contract with the city. McDevitt, adult instructor and Clark, youth instructor, receive 60 percent of their instructional fees.

All tennis programs will continue, including the popular after-school tennis program.

“Parks and Recreation will continue to make improvements where needed. Our teen center, our athletic fields, have a meaningful community role. The investment in youth and the community is paying off. We can see that in lower crime rates.”

Operational hours at the Racquet Center will change to coincide with peak times, but Milk also wants to look into how the off-hours can be an opportunity.

“We want to provide our membership and the community with the best services possible, while having a balanced budget,” he said.

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