I always have a bunch of New Year’s resolutions each year, that way if I don’t do some, then I can at least make a lame attempt to do the others. Usually, by June, I have been completely defeated and given up on the resolutions until January of the next year.
My family laughs at me every year as I struggle through the resolutions, and they, of course, offer no support. Maddie Grace, my oldest daughter, makes the best effort to support her daddy, but she even gets tired of listening to all my excuses on why I am not following through. This year, I have decided that I am not going to do personal resolutions, but instead I am doing professional resolutions (parks and recreation). In years past, at work I have found that if you have a group of you working toward a common goal then you have a much better chance of accomplishing the goal.
As the new director of the parks and recreation department, it is hard to imagine enhancing and making this department better than it already is in 2012. As many of you know, Ronnie Young built this department into what it is today. When he took over in 1967 as the director, he had an annual budget of $51,000. He established athletics for our youth and adults, and then moved on to add a program division, a maintenance division — and one of the coolest things he established was a cultural arts division.
What he did was over a 30-year career was he made sure that all kids could have something to participate in and that adults had opportunities to get away from the everyday stresses of work and life.
When Wayne Gay took over, he enhanced and pushed our department to become a nationally-accredited parks and recreation agency and established our TLC program, which does national and local background checks on our volunteers to protect our children.
As I have told our employees, and people in the public, “The key to change … is to let go of fear.” As someone who grew up in this recreation department, I have seen a lot of great things happen with this parks and recreation agency.
Our New Year’s resolutions are simple — we look forward to renovating facilities, enhancing our programs, being fiscally responsible, apply for grants as often as possible, strive for accreditation in 2014, keep a strong relationship with our city school system and develop effective relationships with our business and civic community.
We have a top-notch department, and it is because of the employees that have a passion for parks and recreation. If we can ever make your experience better, please do not hesitate to contact us. We all love parks and recreation, and we want you to love it as much as we do.
With your help, I think we can accomplish these resolutions. Thanks, as always, for the community support. We couldn’t do it without you!
Editor’s note: Maierhofer is the director of the Carrollton Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. His column appears four times a month in The Times-Georgian.