YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The new parks and recreation director in the city of Youngstown says he has great things planned and he is grateful for the opportunity to serve the city.

Clemate Franklin wrapped up his first week Friday. He says it’s a dream come true.

“This right here, to be in this position and to be a big impact to the young ones, it’s a very, very great situation to be in ,” Franklin said.

Franklin takes the position after former director Dawn Turnage resigned to take a position in Columbus. Now, he says his goal is to be a refuge and resource to the community.

“Miss Dawn Turnage definitely stacked her bricks up for Youngstown, and, you know, I’m ready to stack mine on top of hers and just go higher for us,” he said. 

Franklin is no stranger to working in the community and working with kids. Now, he wants to include the youth’s input in what they would like to see happen with some of the city’s parks and programs.

“I have so many plans, I have so many great ideas, and also I allow a lot of the young ones that I mentor to give me some tips, so I’m getting tips from the future, our future,” he said.

Franklin says he’s gotten a chance to meet a lot of the staff who do the groundwork in the department and he’s impressed with all they do. He’s currently taking some time to learn the ins and outs and put together his plans for changes and the direction he wants to take the department in.

“I would like to see this department working with the community and having pride, you know, I would like to see our residents be proud of Youngstown but also be proud of recreation,” he said.

Franklin says he’s thankful to Mayor Tito Brown for the appointment, his wife and family for their support and most importantly to God.