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January 16, 2013

Woods named Fraser recreation director

By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer

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The Fraser City Council voted Jan. 10 to make interim Parks and Recreation Director Christina Woods the department’s permanent director.

FRASER — Fraser City Council members voted Jan. 10 to hire the city’s interim recreation director into a permanent role.

Christina Woods now will serve in a part-time, at-will position, overseeing Fraser programs and events for senior citizens, including senior transportation, as well as city parks and recreation programs for youths, adults and special-needs individuals.

“The thing that I really want to do in this position is provide what the residents need,” she said. “I’m really looking for the residents to tell me what they want.”

Woods, 26, said she “grew up in this department,” having been involved in Fraser recreation services in some capacity or another since she was 14 years old. She began volunteering as a summer camp counselor as a teen, continued working in the office and running programs afterward, and served as interim director beginning in September 2012.

Councilman Paul Cilluffo abstained from the vote to hire Woods, as Woods is his daughter.

However, the City Council does not directly oversee this position, so her appointment does not violate the city’s nepotism policy.

City Manager Rich Haberman said that the city advertised the position extensively throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, as well as on the Michigan Municipal League and Fraser websites. A list of 18 applicants was narrowed down separately by the city manager and city clerk, based on the candidates’ credentials and experience. Woods was selected from among three interviewees.

As interim director, Woods has planned this year’s Christmas in Fraser celebration, has overseen the continuation of other programs and has helped organize an upcoming senior spelling bee. Looking ahead, she is focused on doing more community events, yet keeping the department in-budget, she said.

Michael Lesich, chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation commission, has worked with Woods for the last several months.

“In the last two years, I think we’ve had three interim directors. She’s the best we’ve had so far,” he said. “She knowledgeable; she works well with everyone.”

Others commended the job she has done, as well, including Fraser First Booster Club President Vania Apps.

“I can think of no better person,” said Councilman Dan Accavitti. “I’ve witnessed firsthand some of the work that Christina has done.”