The Isla Vista Recreation & Park District board of directors renewed the contract of general manager Rodney Gould Tuesday, extending his employment by five more years.
Gould oversees the daily operations of the district, proper maintenance of local park facilities and works with the county and UCSB student groups to provide a variety of recreational programs.
He has held the position of general manager since 2012, and as of 2015 was paid an annual stipend of $107,692. The motion to extend his employment contract was made by Jacob Lebell, the IVRPD board vice-chair, resulting in a unanimous 4-0 vote in favor of Gould’s continued employment.
Ethan Bertrand, the director who seconded the motion, said Gould has worked a great deal to ensure the wellbeing of the Isla Vista community, especially through his participation in community projects.
“Rodney works tirelessly for the residents of Isla Vista,” Bertrand said. “He’s gone above and beyond to work with students and groups on campus to host events and to always make sure we have programming for residents in the park.”
In a town where the IVRPD is the only elected body of self-government, the upkeep of I.V.’s 25 parks and open spaces is a top priority to the five-member board.
In recent years, the parks have become a means of self-expression for the community as well as an opportunity for residents to show solidarity in the midst of tragedy and joy.
Under Gould’s management, the IVRPD established the I.V. Love and Remembrance Garden, a public art installation in memory of the victims of the 2014 Isla Vista shootings, and organized Meet Your Neighbor Day, a communal gathering for locals to socialize.
“Rodney’s a true public servant … I think he’s perfect for the job,” Bertrand said.