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Davenport city officials on Wednesday released a shortlist of three candidates being considered to lead the parks department, and an invitation to the public to meet the front runners.

The three finalists all come from outside the city’s parks department. They are Chad Dyson, a recreation superintendent in Iowa City; Melanie McElroy, a development and outreach coordinator in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.; and Jim O’Connell, an athletics coordinator in Peachtree City, Georgia.

The candidates will be at the Figge Art Museum café from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday for the public meet-and-greet.

The city seeks to replace former Parks Director Scott Hock, who resigned in May to take a similar job in Cedar Rapids. Hock was picked to lead the department in 2014. He was paid $111,571 per year at the end of his tenure.

Here’s a closer look at the finalists:

Chad Dyson

In his role with the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, Dyson oversees operations and programs for several area recreation centers and sports fields. He has worked for the city since 2010, and previously held a similar job in Westmont, Illinois. Dyson is a native of the Quad-Cities. 

Melanie McElroy

McElroy’s duties with the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department include providing administrative support for marketing, social media community relations and grant writing. She also oversees the inclusion of senior citizens and disabled persons in the area’s leisure services programs.

Jim O’Connell

O’Connell works as a coordinator of athletics and tournaments in Peachtree, Georgia, a role that includes running large-scale competitions and special events. He started working there in 2002. 

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