Government

Davenport parks director takes Cedar Rapids job

Scott Hock will manage state's largest parks system

Scott Hock will become the director of the Cedar Rapids parks and recreation department in July. He is now the parks and recreation director in Davenport. (Photo compliments of city of Cedar Rapids)
Scott Hock will become the director of the Cedar Rapids parks and recreation department in July. He is now the parks and recreation director in Davenport. (Photo compliments of city of Cedar Rapids)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids has named a 20-year veteran of managing pools, municipal golf courses and recreation facilities to lead its parks and recreation department.

Scott Hock, director of Davenport’s parks and recreation, has been hired for a job with the same title in Cedar Rapids beginning July 9.

Hock will be responsible for overseeing a department with the equivalent of 128 full-time employees, a fiscal 2019 budget of $11.6 million, and facilities, parks and programing that serve some 1.6 million users annually.

The department operates four municipal golf courses, Ushers Ferry Historic Village, Old MacDonald’s Farm in Bever Park, the Tuma Soccer Complex, six swimming pools, 24 pavilions and more.

“The city of Cedar Rapids manages the largest parks system in the state of Iowa, and overseeing those operations to our high standards is a challenging job,” Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said in an email. “I look forward to Scott bringing his strong leadership, unique ideas and extensive experience to benefit the city of Cedar Rapids.”

The hire marks the end of a nearly yearlong search to replace Sven Leff, who resigned last June to become recreation superintendent in Truckee, Calif. Angie Charipar, assistant to the city manager, has been serving as interim parks and recreation director.

The city used a search firm to recruit for the position and interviewed three finalists. Hock’s salary will be $130,606 annually.

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Hock, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University, has been parks and recreation director in Davenport since 2014. Before that, he held management positions in the field in Urbandale, Ames and Shenandoah in Iowa and in Kansas City, Kan.

Big projects ahead in Cedar Rapids include a kayak launch along the Cedar River south of Czech Village, implementing a greenway master plan along the river and closing the deficit in the golf department.

Another high ranking post in the department is also turning over. Former parks superintendent Daniel Gibbins recently left to become deputy director of the Linn County Conservation Department. That position has been posted and could be filled by the time Hock starts.

Other priorities include managing outdoor pool maintenance when the money from a 2001 local-option sales tax aquatics initiative is exhausted; facility updates to Ellis Harbor; continuing park updates to meet Americans with Disabilities Act compliance; and managing the loss of ash trees infested with the emerald ash borer.

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