Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.

New Parks and Recreation director chosen in Clinton Township

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published March 18, 2020

 Brian Kay stands before the Clinton Township Board of Trustees March 2 after learning he was unanimously selected to take over as the next director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Brian Kay stands before the Clinton Township Board of Trustees March 2 after learning he was unanimously selected to take over as the next director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Photo by Nick Mordowanec

Advertisement

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — This July, Brian Kay will have spent six years within the Clinton Township Parks and Recreation Department. On March 2, he was unanimously selected by the Township Board of Trustees to succeed Frank Pizzo as the department’s next director.

Kay, of New Baltimore, is scheduled to officially take the reins March 27, when Pizzo retires. Kay is currently the assistant director. Before coming to the township, he spent about 5 1/2 years at the parks and recreation departments in Fraser and New Baltimore.

He is a Northwood University graduate who developed a passion for parks and recreation after working as a day camp counselor while in high school. His other efforts contributed toward school programs, teen outreach, and becoming the senior league director for Michigan Youth Flag Football.

“Sports and recreation have always been an important part of my life,” Kay said. He originally came to Clinton Township because he “thought it was a great opportunity to be on a dream team with professionals.”

Now, it will be in his hands.

“I definitely wanted the opportunity to lead the department and continue to carry on the process of (former directors) Linda Walter and Frank (Pizzo),” Kay said. “I had been under (Pizzo’s) mentorship the past 5 1/2 years and felt comfortable with the new responsibilities I would inherit. We worked side-by-side on a lot of the programs and what it would look like if it were my responsibility, so that transition had already started to take place.

“Frank just has a great passion for our profession and he just continued to evolve the department and look for new opportunities for us to grow and develop our staff,” Kay said.

Kay said becoming the next director was “something I had to earn.” He said he felt a sense of relief, as did others in the department, that an internal figure would continue the culture. That includes being knowledgeable about staffers and policies, procedures and programming.

There is a comfort level associated with who oversees that culture, Kay added, noting how members of the community — including some who attended the board meeting where he was approved — make that association known.

He aims to continue to be hands on, with a department focus on the recently announced splash pad, building out trails and pathways, evolving with technology enhancements, and aiding in a universal kayak launch at George George Park.

Creating and maintaining award-winning programs, while shifting responsibilities among the team dynamic, is a “strength” for a department that will remain an asset and a “point of pride.”

“In our field, building a sense of place in a community is always a very important area for people to feel comfortable gathering multiple generations of families,” Kay said. “Anytime you can do that and it’s in your own backyard, it’s a win-win.”

Advertisement