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New recreation director hired

Tom Harder started Dec. 16

SOLON– Solon has a new recreation director.
Tom Harder, a native of Iowa City, started the new post Dec. 16.
Harder replaces Ben Flaherty, who served in the position from September of 2018 to Nov. 7. Flaherty accepted a new job with the City of Ames.
Recreation Administrative Assistant McKenzie McIlrath served as an interim coordinator while the candidate search was underway.
According to City Administrator Cami Rasmussen, interviews were conducted in November and the position was offered and accepted by Harder.
“We had very good candidates,” Solon City Council member Lynn Morris said. Morris served on the hiring committee, along with Public Works Director Scott Kleppe, Recreation Advisory Team member Brock Reed and Rasmussen. “There were quite a few people interested,” Morris noted during a Dec. 4 council meeting where the hiring was approved. “We interviewed seven and they all had excellent qualifications.”
Harder will join the city at a salary of $42,000 a year.
An Iowa City West High graduate, Harder graduated in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in sport and recreation management from the University of Iowa (UI). While at UI, he worked with UI Recreational Services and spent five years working with Iowa football program, with three years as a student manager and two years as a football operations graduate assistant.
Since graduating, Harder worked part-time for the North Liberty Community Center and worked full-time with Elite Sportsbook at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort.