Pilot program established to help Parks and Rec maintain county parks
To address the employee shortage within the Parks and Recreation’s maintenance division, the Hawai’i County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a new on-call pilot program.
There will be 20 new on-call positions for park caretakers to help keep the county’s 300 parks clean.
Parks and Recreation Director Maurice Messina said the program has been three and a half years in the making after his department reached out to the administration for help.
The employee shortages have been exacerbated by employee call-outs, especially around big holidays, which result in a lack of people to clean the parks and their bathrooms.
The administration asked Parks and Recreation to come up with a plan, which led to Messina partnering with the Department of Human Resources to create this pilot program. The on-call positions will cover caretakers for parks in Hilo, Kona and Hāmākua.
“It took a lot of work and required a lot of meetings,” Messina said of the process to create the pilot program. “We couldn’t be dissuaded by the long process because we knew this was something that needed to happen.”
Messina said those participating in the pilot program will be contracted employees and added to the on-call rotation.
Through this program, he added, the department will be able to fully staff the park’s maintenance division.
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