KILLINGLY -- Bob Ames
calls himself "a small town guy at heart" and says he
loves every minute of his
new job as director of the town's Parks and Recreation Department.
But, in almost the same breath, Ames
likes to dream big dreams.
"I look to the future with the hope of making things better for all of us," Ames
, 58, said."While I respect the past, and the past is important, it should not necessarily guide what we do today and tomorrow."
With two weeks in the Killingly position under his
has spent much of that time learning as much as possible about the community and its residents.Part of that process has been spent learning about the town's existing parks and recreation program and its facilities. Ames
spoke highly about the work done by his predecessor, Richard Calarco, who left Killingly last year for a position at a recreation facility in another part of the state.
Killingly has excellent facilities and my hope is to be able to build on the foundation he
has put in place," Ames
As part of that building process, Ames
hopes to develop more programs geared toward families and also create some activities for senior citizens.
Some of his
ideas for family activities include setting up a family picnic or a cookout at Owen Bell Park in Dayville."Maybe we could arrange some canoe trips along the local rivers for families, or have an occasional hayride.Rather than just a program that's geared to fourth- or fifth-graders, we could plan some events where mom and dad and even younger brothers or sisters could take part," he
hoping to either offer a program of movies geared to the entire family or to arrange for a discount family night at a local movie theater.He
emphasized these programs are simply in the idea stage at this point. His
ideas for senior citizens' programs range from having a sewing class, line dancing, a monthly bridge party or even speaking programs on topics of interest to the town's older residents.
"Maybe we could have an occasional luncheon, just something that could give the seniors a chance to get out of their homes and get together with others in their age group," he
said."I'm looking for anything that could help to make them more active and improve the quality of their lives." Ames
interested in getting ideas for program possibilities from residents.He
encouraged people to visit or call him with those ideas at his
office in the Community Center on Broad Street.Any new programs would require the approval of the Board of Parks and Recreation and, possibly, the Town Council
...Ames comes to Killingly from a position as assistant director of the Recreation and Parks Department in Columbus, Ohio.
supervised all the city's parks, building, parks and forestry management construction and planning and design. Prior to his work in Columbus, he served as parks and recreation director in South Kingstown, R.I.
A West Hartford native, who earned a degree in recreation and youth leadership from Springfield College
return to Connecticut as "a return to my roots."He
wife, Leslie are living in Killingly
.The location is especially desirable, as it puts the Ameses within 30 to 60 miles of the family.The couple has three grown children, who live in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and two grandchildren."My parents are also getting along in years and I appreciate the opportunity to be closer to them," he
EnlargeBob Ames is the new director of the Killingly Parks and Recreation Department.