Manhattan Parks & Rec Director Resigns

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Curt Loupe, Director of Parks and Recreation, has resigned his position as of April 10, 2013. Loupe began his employment with the City of Manhattan on November 13, 2006. According to Loupe, “I pledged to the City Manager that I would give him 5 years with this position, and I have served over 6 years.” For personal reasons, Loupe relocated his residency back to Topeka last year.

City Manager Ron Fehr told WIBW in March that Loupe was on administrative leave but would not comment further on the situation.

Loupe became the head of the department after the previous director resigned amid theft allegations.He previously served as director of Topeka's southwest YMCA location.

During his service, Loupe directed a period of facility improvements within the department including the renovation, expansion, and modernization of the aquatics facilities at City Park, CiCo Park, and Northview. Other improvements included the Cattery at the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter; the City Park splash park and playground; and the Douglass Community Center. The Flint Hills Discovery Center and Blue Earth Plaza were also constructed during his tenure.

Loupe indicated, “Manhattan citizens should be proud of these improvements, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have served in this position. It is time to pursue new opportunities.”

Fehr thanked Mr. Loupe for his service and has appointed Assistant City Manager Jason Hilgers to serve as the Interim Director for the Parks and Recreation Department until the position is permanently filled. Fehr stated, “I plan to commence a national recruitment for the position in the near future. In the meantime, I have complete confidence in Jason and the department staff to continue providing exceptional service to the public. The City will maintain its high quality of parks and recreation services during the transition.”

Ron Fehr was not available for an interview Thursday. It is not clear if Loupe has accepted a position somewhere else.