The Influence of Governmental Structures on Park and Recreation Compensation


  • William R. McKinney
  • Laura Valerius


Personnel compensation, governmental structure, park and recreation administration, municipal government, special districts, internal salary equity, external salary equity.


Maintaining a competitive compensation program should be of continuing concern for park and recreation organizations. The hiring, retention, and motivation of qualified employees is largely dependent upon the organization's compensation program. This study examined the differences in compensation between park and recreation organizations falling under the auspices of two governmental structures: municipal departments and special districts. Compensation of both agency directors and professional employees was used as a basis for comparison. Compensation received by other municipal employees also was compared with that received by park and recreation employees. Results indicate that park and recreation directors and professional staff were not paid significantly differently than their counterparts in other municipal departments. However, a direct comparison of park and recreation municipal directors and special-district directors showed that special-district directors were paid more. Further study is needed to clarify true salary discrepancies between all local governmental structures responsible for park and recreation services.





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