CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Hutchinson will keep his job, at least for now.

Jeff Hutchinson

The Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission met Thursday to vote on Hutchinson’s future.

With a 6-1 vote, with one member abstaining, Hutchinson will remain in his position. However, Ret. Maj. Gen. Allen Tackett, the commission chair, said Hutchinson isn’t guaranteed anything.

“In those documents that were presented is a six-month evaluation of his performance. He has six months to improve and make sure the parks are going in the right direction,” explained Tackett.  If not, he will be terminated.

Hutchinson said he plans to move forward.  “I appreciate their vote. I’ll continue to do what I’ve done for the past 11 years until somebody tells me different,” he said.

Hutchinson has come under fire several times during his tenure as director for decisions he’s made.

However, a verbal agreement made by Hutchinson and approved by the board to hire a contractor to remove debris from Coonskin Park after the 2012 derecho ended up in a legal battle. It ended with a jury siding in favor of the contractor. Hutchinson has had to deal with the fallout since then.

“Even though I am the park director, I take direction from the park (board),” said Hutchinson. “I don’t have a vote. I do what I’m asked to do!”

Meanwhile, Tackett said the next year will be critical for the park system as a new bridge and entrance into Coonskin Park are built and improvement are made to other recreation areas. The general stressed all eyes will be on Hutchinson and how he handles his job.

“He is going to be scrutinized extremely heavily by this board to make sure things are done in the proper manner and that the I’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed,” Tackett said.

Hutchinson said he’s ready to put the questions behind him and get on with the work of the park system.

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  • cutty77

    Here is the real story.Charleston can't fire him,because they don't have the money to replace him.

    • Sam

      It's the county not the city of Charleston, so that is obviously not the "real" story or even one that makes a slight bit of sense to anyone with a clue.

      A clue would also help realize that the replacement, by definition, would not get a salary in addition to Hutchinson's because he would no longer be getting his. Indeed, in this economy it would likely not be difficult to get a more competent (and more ethical) replacement for less money than he makes.

  • Mike M

    That's a relief. Now I know where I can get my winter stock of firewood.

  • Anthony

    Contract or agreement with Russ Bowen = gross incompetence.

  • Dan

    Incompetent--- not having skills,ability,or capability to do the job. I suspect somewhere when filing for an elected office there is a little box that must be checked admitting your limited ability before being qualified for public office!

  • the flying dutchman

    so no trees were cut down illegally on his watch?....on a contract he negotiated? on a process he was in charge of oversight?

  • ViennaGuy

    So much for accountability in Kanawha County government ...

  • cutty77

    Poor Old Charleston. Lead By Fools.

  • Chris

    This is ridiculous. This guy has cost us just as much as Mark Plants if not more but the county commission is silent. This makes the whole Parks Board look incompetent. Under his watch, the airport clear cut unnecessarily all the way to the Elk River Trail creating continuous mud slides, many trails were bulldozed and destroyed creating a driving range and now this timber fiasco. Clearly no one is going to protect our parks and no one will ever be held accountable.

  • Sam

    I don't normally ascribe to conspiracy theories, but this guy has to have something on somebody. He's proven to be unethical and incompetent, repeatedly. Now, he says he plans to just keep doing what he has been doing.

    Carper will run his mouth as he always does, but that's all he will do. He knows full well the County Commission could withhold funding until the Parks Board does the right thing but he won't take that step. Hardy is obviously behind Hutchinson but won't admit it and Hoppy is a nice guy but basically just a figurehead at this point.

    It's also important who appointed EVERY member of the Parks Board. You guessed it the County Commission and all three of the jokers have been on the Commission when every single member was appointed.

  • js

    I''do continue to do what I've done for the past 11 years until "somebody" tells me different.

  • Laughs On Us

    Anyone surprised? Another joke played at the expense of Kanawha County taxpayers!