Alton’s Community Services Director shares an insight into his experience as the recreation director. Samm Mercado, is in charge of Alton’s Parks, youth programs, special projects for the city, and Alton’s recreation department.
For five years he was only in charge of coordinating special projects, then he was promoted and hired to become Alton’s community services director and has been working as a director for 4 years.
“I grew up in the city of Alton in the 60s and 70s and attended San Martin De Porres elementary. It is a joy to work for my community and I hope to provide my services for many years to come because it is an honor,” he said.
As Alton’s Recreation Director, Mercado has seen his community providing continual service to the people. Volunteers are always sought for the events are usually from 14-year-olds to adults.
“Volunteers are vital since they are the key element for the programs to be successful,” he said.
According to Director Mercado, department and other organizations also give their fair share to help in the programs. These include the Police, Public Works, and Firefighters’ departments. All of them work together to make the programs successful. None of them are obligated to provide their services, but all of them volunteer to help their community with sincerity.
“I am in charge of notifying the different departments of the events that will be held to receive help,” he said.
Mercado feels that the greatest accomplishment that the City of Alton has created is the strong unity of its own community where mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and children are able to interact with each other and have fun while they also meet their elected officials.
“I usually hear the comments and generally they comment on how nice Alton has been for hosting the events for the public. This is exactly what I personally expect to accomplish as a team, with the other departments, and with my department as well. I just hope that the community is able to enjoy all the events provided for them,” he said.