New Baltimore Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Carlos Aprea was fired this week, a recreation official announced Thursday night.
Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Larry Gingas stated that Aprea was terminated from his position within the department, but did not elaborate. Gingas told the commission the news; there was no further discussion from the chairman or the public, Recreation Commissioner Tom Hepp said after the meeting.
"Yes, the official comment was he was let go," said Hepp, adding the termination was made at the city administration level. He directed further questions to the mayor's office.
Mayor Larry Smith could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
The commission meetings do not draw crowds like city council meetings. Fewer than 10 people were in attendance, he said.
Messages left for Aprea were not immediately returned.
He recently told Patch he was disappointed that he was bypassed for the department's director job in favor of Brian Kay, who hails from Fraser parks and recreation.
"I guess my biggest thing is: I never got an interview," Aprea said. "I think it would be at least a courtesy for someone who's been doing the job for several months."
He said he would pass along many of his ideas, such as a waterfront dog park and kayak rentals, to Kay in hopes of continuing to improve city recreation services.
Last month when , he reiterated that Aprea, whom he selected for the assistant director job two years ago, would keep his position in the city. He also said that the hiring process for the director position was too controversial and that's why the Michigan Recreation and Park Association – not the city – selected from a pool of 60 applicants.
City officials have been at odds about the recreation department and in which direction to take it. The mayor was adamant that leasing property from Anchor Bay Schools would improve recreation, but a .
Aprea regularly taught boxing and other fitness lessons at the recreation center, oversaw events and made department upgrades, such as bringing programs online and expanding class offerings. The former city councilman also represented the department at council meetings, fielding questions about programs and offerings on a regular basis.
He is married to Liz Aprea, who owns and served on the Downtown Development Authority board. Last fall, Liz Aprea confronted city officials, saying she during her eight-month stint on the DDA board. Those community officials denied her accounts. In early February, she announced the to gain more production space.