Hudson Will Oversee Brand New Program For Leitchfield
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Edmonson County Parks & Rec Program Administrator Greg Hudson has resigned from his position to accept a new role as Leitchfield's Park Director.
Hudson said he was recently contacted by the City of Leitchfield about the new position and that it would be a completely new organization as there had been no official Parks and Rec program in Leitchfield. Hudson said that parks there were overseen by local tourism and public works.
"This was a job opportunity that I simply couldn't turn down," said Hudson. "I'm extremely grateful for my time spent here and for the progress made in all our park programs."
During Hudson's tenure in Edmonson County, the local parks program has seen major improvements by having effective independent little league boards for baseball, softball, and basketball, has seen the resurrection of local youth soccer, the facilities are in the best shape seen in modern times, and more people are participating in park programs than ever before.
Annual programs like the Freedom Fest, Halloween on the Square, and the community Easter egg hunt have been extremely popular under the leadership of Hudson, and he's also tried a host of other programs to include more youth, including concerts and movies.
Elsie Johnson, Leitchfield's City Tourism Director, discussed how Hudson came to be their decision for the new hire.
"It's always a hard decision when we hire someone for a role like this who lives outside our city limits, but when we saw the continued growth that Edmonson County Parks showed under Greg, we felt like he was the perfect person for us," she said.
Johnson said Hudson will not only oversee all city ball programs for boys, girls, and adults, he will also be in charge of aquatics, which includes a new water park with over 50 employees. Hudson will also oversee park maintenance, pavillion rental and management, and a nine-hole disc golf course. The city already has plans of expanding that into another nine holes in the future.
"We're so excited to have him on board and we anticipate plenty of growth with his addition," Johnson added.
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon said Hudson's resignation is a huge loss for the county.
"I hate to lose him," said Cannon. "Virtually every improvement we've seen in our parks over the past few years is directly related to Greg."
Cannon said Hudson's replacement will be cut back to a part time position, due to countywide budget cuts that are affecting all county offices.
"Most people don't realize that Greg volunteered a lot of his time while doing things for the county," said Cannon. "He did lots of things not in his job description just because they needed to be done. They'll be some things we'll cut back, like the movies and some of the concerts, but we're going to continue our Freedom Fest, Halloween, and Easter events, and we're going to continue our bluegrass jams at the Community Center. All those have been successful thanks to Greg."
Cannon also said he was going to leave the hiring process options up to fiscal court where the court will either form a committee to accept applications, conduct interviews, and make the hire, or the court could also agree to allow Cannon to make the decision.
Judge Cannon also said Hudson's replacement will be a government go-between from the local league boards and fiscal court. Leagues will still be directly run by each league's respective boards, made up of coaches and parents.
"I don't mind to make the decision myself, but I'm not a dictator and I want our fiscal court to have their say in this process," he said.
Hudson will begin his duties in Leitchfield on Monday, January 8, which will be the same date his official resignation will take effect; however, Hudson said he will still be a resident of Edmonson County and will help his replacement move into their new role.
"I still live here and I still care about what happens here," he said. "I want to see our community continue to grow and prosper so I want to help whomever steps in. I certainly don't want to just walk away."
Hudson has served as Parks Program Administrator since 2015.