11/19/08 — City's Parks and Recreation director leaving in December

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City's Parks and Recreation director leaving in December

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 19, 2008 1:46 PM

Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw will be leaving the city staff to take a position as parks and recreation director for the town of Garner, Goldsboro City Manager Joe Huffman announced Tuesday.

Mrs. Shaw has worked with the city as the department director since July 2007. She supervises 38 staff members, 13 recreation facilities and an 18-hole golf course.

"Goldsboro has been a great training ground for me as a director," Mrs. Shaw said.

Among the projects she has focused on during her year in Goldsboro are the plans for the Community Recreation Center, the plans for Stoney Creek Park, the creation of the city's fine arts program Art Smarts and the beginnings of a facilities improvement master plan.

Mrs. Shaw said she accepted the position in Garner to be closer to family and friends in the Triangle area.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said Mrs. Shaw will be missed.

"I think that Sonya has made a lot of positive changes in the department and has done an exceptional job in programming and looking for ways to interact with the community. I think she is going to be greatly missed, but I also understand the opportunity for growth and for advancement," Ms. Logan said. "I'm really happy for her. It's an excellent opportunity for her careerwise, but she will definitely be missed."

Huffman echoed Ms. Logan's sentiments.

"I think she did an excellent job while she was here. I wish she'd stay longer. I understand that she is making a career move, and I support that," he said. "I would have to say that her strengths are her energy and enthusiasm in bringing new events to the city and her ability to work with her employees. She had a really good team down there. I'm going to miss her here and hope she does well where she is going."

Mrs. Shaw's last day with Goldsboro will be Dec. 13 for Jingle in the Park. She will begin work in Garner on Dec. 18.

"It will be an honor serving as the parks and recreation director for a town which obviously cares for the parks and facilities of the town as well as the recreational opportunities available for all of its citizens," she said in a press release Tuesday.

Before she came to Goldsboro, she worked as the Community Celebrations, Arts and Programs Division supervisor in Chapel Hill.

Huffman said city officials will likely advertise the director position in December and begin the hiring process in January. In the meantime, he added, the department will work together to fill the void.

At a Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission meeting Tuesday night, Mrs. Shaw updated the members on projects' status, saying the comprehensive master plan that is necessary for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant for Stoney Creek Park will likely be finished in December, that the Com-munity Recreation Center is currently out for bid and that Stoney Creek Park plans are being perfected.

Stoney Creek Park Alliance members are expected to approve a plan for the park Thursday and bring it before the Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission in December for its approval.