Recreation Commission lands assistant director for new spot
The Tonganoxie Recreation Commission hopes it can expand recreation opportunities with an addition to its staff.
On Feb. 1, Ben Cramer joined director Mark Zerrer as the commission's assistant director. Previously, Kathy Caenen worked part time for the recreation commission and chamber of commerce.
Cramer, a native of Healy in western Kansas, has a full-time position, with most duties coming on the recreation commission side.
"It's pretty much a new position," Zerrer said. "We're trying to offer more to the community in terms of recreation programming. The rec commission wanted basically someone for more hours than what we had, which was very, very part time."
An August graduate in recreation and park administration from Kansas State University, Cramer said the new position is off to a good start.
"It's getting busier," Cramer said. "It's really going to get busier in a couple weeks with spring sign-up."
Cramer has been around competitive athletics in various ways. The 23-year-old has been refereeing high school sports for the last five years and was the assistant boys' basketball coach at Healy this season until January.
Cramer, who is a certified Kansas referee in football and basketball, said he would like to officiate at the high school and junior high levels if it fits into his schedule.
If the recreation commission is in a crunch, Cramer also could referee in those activities.
"I guess I'm the emergency umpire," Cramer said.
Before coming to Tonganoxie, Cramer worked in an internship with the Colby parks and recreation department.
Zerrer said that stint is helpful for his new position here.
"He has a lot of good experience in dealing with people," Zerrer said.
The chamber of commerce, which shares an office with the commission at 635 E. Fourth, hasn't gotten into detail what Cramer's duties will be on their side.
"Well, we haven't really had a chance to get back with the rec commission on how that person might impact our operations down there," said 2001 chamber president Bill Grant. "At this point nothing's really been decided in that regard."