About 10 weeks after Ryan Strother was terminated as Jersey City’s recreation director for allegedly hiring a sex offender then refusing to fire him, the city has named Kevin Williamson as his replacement.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Williamson, a 26-year resident of Jersey City, has spent more than 13 years involved in educational and recreation programs in Jersey City.
Some of his previous titles include the president of the board of trustees at the Learning Community Charter School, board member of the Jersey City Youth Soccer Association, member of the Roberto Clemente Little League Board and Hans Solis Soccer Academy. He is also certified soccer coach and referee.
Mayor Steven Fulop praised the hiring of Williamson in a prepared statement.
“Anyone who’s ever seen their kid smile after scoring a goal – or spend a summer outdoors in a safe and fun environment – knows how important recreation programs are to our city,” he said.
“There’s simply no one better to lead our rec department than Kevin. He has run recreation programs at every level, including as a referee on the soccer field. He’s man of incredible integrity and passion. We’re thrilled to have him.”
Williamson, who owns an Allstate Insurance agency, will formally take over as recreation director one week from today: November 23. He also voiced his excitement for the new job opportunity.
“I couldn’t be more excited that Mayor Fulop is giving me an opportunity to keep doing what I love,” said Williamson said in the same statement.
“For 13 years, I have coached and mentored many children as if they were my own. I’ve watched so many go onto higher education,and been so proud that, in some small way, I was part of the process.”
He added that “through sports, children learn how to be part of a community,” principles that will be reinforced by a recreated department under his leadership.
Rev. Reginald McRae has been serving as the acting recreation director since Strother was ousted from the department. A group of residents initially pleaded for the City Council to reinstate Strother, which ultimately had no impact on the process.