Effective at end of September

by: HOLLY M. GILL - The Madras Aquatic Center is entering another period of change, with both managers resigning at the end of September.Major change is underway at the Madras Aquatic Center, where the board of directors is looking for new managers.

Three months after the MAC District passed a supplemental operating levy, both operations manager Carolyn Harvey and aquatics manager Bobby DeRoest have submitted their resignations, and the board is in the process of reorganizing the pool's oversight.

The resignations will leave three positions open: the two managers and the recreation coordinator, formerly held by Steve Keever.

Harvey, who has been on the job less than a year — since Oct. 8, 2012 — will continue to manage the MAC through September.

"We are once again trying a restructure, because we realized last year's restructure didn't work," said Anita Goodwin, chairman of the MAC Board of Directors. "We had two parallel managers, Bobby and Carolyn, each reportable to us. It seems that put a lot of stress on Carolyn; she's been pretty overwhelmed."

The board offered Harvey the new position of director, but she declined the offer.

"I don't think I've received any support or direction from them," Harvey said Friday. "They decided to restructure again. They offered me the director position, but I was offered it without a job description. I didn't feel like under those conditions I could take it."

Besides the director position, there will also be an aquatics supervisor and recreation coordinator hired.

During her short tenure, which Harvey said has been stressful, she nevertheless feels that she has "made some headway; I feel good about that."

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Bobby DeRoestIn May, voters in the MAC District approved an operations levy that will provide an additional 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — about $240,000 — to the district. That levy will be added to the original operations levy of 25 cents per $1,000, which board members hope will make the MAC self-supporting.

DeRoest, who was hired at the end of 2007 as program coordinator, was later promoted to general manager until the reorganization last year. He submitted his resignation Aug. 19, while the board was meeting in executive session, with an effective date of Sept. 30.

The board's statement about DeRoest's resignation noted, "The board of directors feels that this will be an enormous loss to the district, as he had spent the last five years developing a successful swim program. The dedication and commitment he has provided to the youth of this community, as well as the district, will be missed."

The five-member elected board also includes Sally Bird Gauvin, Martha Bewley, Heidi Boyle and Jamie Hurd.

DeRoest coached the Madras High School boys' swim team, which won the 4A state championship earlier this year. He was also named the small school (1A-4A) coach of the year for 2012 by the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association.

On Monday, DeRoest said he is looking for employment in the community, where he would like to remain. "I don't want to leave the community; my family's here," he said. "Right now, the plan is to continue coaching the high school swim team."

DeRoest said that he made some mistakes, and the board asked him to resign, due to "misappropriation of district funds."

"It was mileage reimbursement; I was reimbursed for mileage and I didn't use my own vehicle," he said, explaining that he ended up using a school bus.

The money, which he said he has repaid, amounted to about $575.

Even though the board received legal advice in the matter, he said, "To be honest, I don't think it's something that has to be done; I don't know that it's the best decision for the district, but they have the power to make the decision."

DeRoest believes that he is a valuable asset for the community, putting together tournaments and swim meets, and bringing in people from outside the district.

For the next five weeks, DeRoest will be coaching the water polo teams, which involve about 25 students.

"It's possible, and I've discussed this with the board, that I could still coach the club team as my own business," he said. "I would use the MAC, but I wouldn't be employed by the MAC."

Despite the changes, DeRoest feels the district will be left in good condition. "I think the district is in better financial standing than it ever has been," he said. "A lot of the credit goes to the management of the center — myself, Carolyn, and Angi Krueger, the business manager."

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