City leaders praise changes in Parks and Recreation and Columbus -, GA News Weather & Sports

City leaders praise changes in Parks and Recreation and Columbus Civic Center

In May of last year, Dr. James Worsley was named the new Parks and Recreation Director in Columbus.

The next month, Ross Horner was appointed the Director of the Columbus Civic Center.

Both Worsley and Horner took over departments as they were going through tough times.       

"Both of them had great morale problems," said Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. "They suffered from a lack of leadership in the past. Of course, there was some issues regarding corruption and lack of credibility of the various departments."

Worsley came into his position at Parks and Recreation after the former director of the program and program specialist admitted to setting up a secret bank account and using the money for their travel basketball team.

He said he has worked to improve staff morale and the department's image.

"People didn't see the parks and recreation department as a place for professionalism as a place of integrity and a place of ethics," said Worsley. "I believe that we have restored that."

Officials said before Horner became the director, they received complaints about the civic center constantly... some serious allegations ranging from excessive use of complimentary tickets, to contracting events that had little profit to the city.

Horner said there were challenges when he took the job.

"Perception sometimes overrides what the reality is. The reality is that we have a great staff. A very motivated group of people here ready to do the work that it is going to take to move us forward," said Horner.

During Tuesday's city council meeting, Worsley and Horner were praised for the changes they have made in the past year.

"These are departments that are worthy of this great city. They've really added to our credibility here in Columbus Georgia. They are something the citizens can be very proud of," said Tomlinson.

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