Henderson parks chief Donner loses job in consolidation

The city of Henderson has merged its Parks and Recreation Department with its Public Works Department.

As a result, the job of Mary Ellen Donner, director of the Parks and Recreation Department since April 2007, has been eliminated. She was paid about $168,000 a year.

“This reorganization doesn’t involve any cuts to programs or services or amenities,” city spokesman Bud Cranor said Thursday.

Cranor said City Manager Jacob Snow announced the changes to staff on Wednesday.

Snow was traveling Thursday and unavailable for comment, the spokesman said.

Donner could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Robert Murnane, director of the Public Works Department since May 2001, has been named senior director of the new department. Murnane has worked for the city since 1996.

Murnane is paid about $168,000 a year. According to information provided by Cranor, his new annual salary is expected to be about $185,000.

Before joining the city of Henderson, Donner was employed as assistant director of the Collier County Parks and Recreation Department in Naples, Fla.

Snow began reorganizing departments shortly after his appointment in April 2012.

He said the City Council had asked him to look for ways to make the city more efficient.

As part of that effort, he researched similarly sized cities in the Western United States.

“Our peer cities seemed to have fewer departments than what we have,” Snow said in August 2012.

He said he started looking at opportunities for consolidation.

In July 2012, the council approved his plan to consolidate public affairs responsibilities in the following areas:

■ Cultural arts and tourism.

■ Economic development and redevelopment.

■ Communication.

■ Intergovernmental relations.

In September 2012, the council approved changes that resulted in the elimination of seven positions.

Around that time, the Community Development Department, the Neighborhood Services Division, and the Building and Fire Safety Division merged to create the Community Development and Services Department.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Follow @CarriGeer on Twitter.


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