Grosse Pointe Shores welcomes new park manager

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 30, 2019

 Lifelong Grosse Pointer Allison Scarfone, pictured in June at Grosse Pointe Shores City Hall, is the city’s new park manager.

Lifelong Grosse Pointer Allison Scarfone, pictured in June at Grosse Pointe Shores City Hall, is the city’s new park manager.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — For the first time in nearly a decade, Grosse Pointe Shores has a park manager.

Allison Scarfone, 36, was introduced as the new park manager at a June 18 Grosse Pointe Shores City Council meeting, which also marked her first day on the job. She’s the first person to hold this position since the 2010 retirement of Shores Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cooke. She’ll be overseeing recreational activities and events, most of which occur during the busy summer season, but some of which may take place at other times during the year.

“I feel blessed to work (with) and serve you guys,” Scarfone told the council and residents. “My heart truly feels at home in this position.”

Mayor Ted Kedzierski introduced her to the community.

“We’re very proud to welcome Allison Scarfone,” he said. “I love the energy (she’s) going to bring to the park.”

Scarfone said she’s looking forward to creating “really fun events for this community.”

She graduated, with honors, with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Detroit Mercy. Her past positions have included serving as a youth education director for Grosse Pointe Congregational Church in Grosse Pointe Farms and as a discovery paralegal for the law firm of Scarfone and Dean.

Scarfone has also been a swim coach at Grosse Pointe North High School for the last 15 years, coaching the varsity swim team with Mike O’Connor.

City Manager Mark Wollenweber called Scarfone “just spectacular” at a May 21 City Council meeting.

She grew up in Grosse Pointe Woods and has lived in Grosse Pointe Farms for the last 10 years.

“I’m so excited,” said Scarfone, who said she has always wanted a job like this. “I’ve always had a passion for community and family.”

Shores resident Harry Kurtz, who praised the choice of Scarfone, also applauded the city’s decision to place someone in this position.

“I’m personally very pleased that we’re doing that,” he told the council in May after its members voted in favor of having a park manager.

Adding a park manager was part of the Shores’ recently revised master plan for its parks. It’s classified as a part-time seasonal position, running from April 1 to Nov. 15. The city included $50,000 for salary and other expenses for the park manager in its 2019-20 fiscal year budget. Wollenweber said that figure includes the amount the Shores needs to pay into Social Security.

City Councilwoman Tina Ellis cast the sole vote against having a park manager May 21.

“I voted against the park director proposal because I felt the terms of the employment agreement were too ambiguous,” Ellis said by email. “I am definitely for hiring a park director but want to be very clear (about) the hiring hours and pay.”

She said the city needs to trim its expenses now, so that it won’t have to raise the tax rate in the future.