WAXAHACHIE

From balance sheets to swing sets, Gumaro Martinez looks to utilize his experience as an accountant in his new assistant director role with the Waxahachie Parks and Recreation Department. For the past nine years, Martinez has served in the city’s finance department.

“This was an opportunity to move up and move over to a great department and work with (parks director) John Smith,” Martinez said. “I have always enjoyed the outdoors and have been pretty active in whether it be a physical activity or walking the trails.”

Martinez’s job will involve managing and budgeting for new projects, and addressing future needs for the park system.

Two projects that Martinez will take the lead on includes the new Settler’s Glenn subdivision park, located off Patrick Road. Settler’s Glenn is set to open in March and will feature a new playground built by Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds and Water Parks. He will also supervise the development of Little Creek Trail. The Little Creek Trail Project is expected to run from Solon Road to Farley Street.

Martinez also hopes to fine-tune the operations at the parks department.

“A lot of times, you have to re-evaluate. There might be a good process involved, but if you can fine tune it, that will make people even better,” Martinez said. “That is what we are trying to do here. We are looking at every process that we possibly can as far as parks maintenance and clean up crews goes. We want to get a good schedule going for these guys so they can do the best.”

Martinez stated one of his goals is to get the community more involved and connected with the 18 parks that the city has to offer. He looks to achieve this through new programs that will join both groups together.

Smith added as the city continues to grow, it is essential to look at the future to forecast expected needs. He noted that the background Martinez background possess would help the parks department to continue to move forward.

“We have a capital improvement program where we look at five years, and even 10-year expenditures, but it was difficult for me to balance both sides,” Smith said. “I have to kind of live in the here-and-now and do a lot of reaction type expenditures and programming. I was not doing enough of the forecasting and future budging for things like erosion control in the area. We were behind the eightball on future forecasting, and Gumaro is going to be a great future leader in this.”

Smith stated the pro-active approach will allow needs to be addressed quicker and old equipment rotated out promptly. This approach will provide the public with a better experience.

“I know that he has spoken to a lot of vendors for playground equipment. He is finding cost savings and things that way. So we are able to afford a little bit more when we build a playground,” Smith said. “He is already bringing lots to the table.”