Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

November 6, 2012

Track GM position won't be filled

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — Toby Kruse, former Knoxville Raceway General Manager, recently resigned from the post. At Monday night's Marion County Fair Board meeting, a secret ballot was taken and the board chose not to fill the position. 

Instead, the track will be run by committee. Gary Schumacher will handle the financial aspect of the track, as well as human resources; John McCoy will handle racing issues and Brian Stickel will market, promote and handle other matters regarding the track. 

The three of them submitted a proposal to the board for track management moving forward. Stickel said after the meeting that the duties that would befall a general manager were already being taken care of by these three. 

Prior to a vote taking place, Stickel told the board of his experience with the track and his other experience, including the X Games and Olympics. While other dirt tracks around the country are not doing as well as they may have in the past, Knoxville Raceway is doing well. Stickel believes it is necessary to plan for the future, to set goals and designate where money will be spent as the track moves forward. 

"We have a very bright future here," Stickel said.

Stickel believes that continued success will rely on getting sponsors for upcoming events signed soon. He does not believe this can wait until February.

"I agree," McCoy told the board. He also expressed his support for the proposal and for Stickel.

Schumacher said there is currently no one available to oversee staff at the moment. He sees a need for a handbook, policies and guidelines and expressed his willingness to maintain employee records. 

Stickel said action needed to be taken to give staff the authority to move forward within parameters set by the board regarding the budget, business plan and more. A motion was made and seconded to approve the proposal. Per the board's request, each member wrote yes or no onto a piece of paper and were tallied by the board president and secretary. Other votes taken Monday night were done by a show of hands. 

Fair Board President Bob Riggen said the motion carried by a single vote. 

Look for more on the fair board in the Nov. 9 Journal-Express.