12:20 PM: With so much Seattle Parks property in West Seattle, leadership changes in the department are always news, and there’s another one on the way. Thanks to the texter who tipped us that superintendent Jesús Aguirre has resigned after two and a half years on the job. We called the Parks communications office for more information and they say they’re working on it. (Photo from seattle.gov)
2:06 PM: Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin says Aguirre’s resignation will be effective January 2nd, after which time he plans to “take some time to be with family” and eventually join his family’s welding business. He told Mayor Burgess on Monday, and Parks staff on Tuesday. A news release is due out from the mayor’s office soon.
3:16 PM: And the mayor’s statement has arrived in the inbox:
Jesús Aguirre has been an incredible leader and advocate for both our parks system, and the community supports offered through our programs and recreational facilities. He has been a great leader to team of over 2,000 permanent and seasonal parks and recreation employees, and will be missed.
During his tenure, Jesús led the initial implementation of the Seattle Metropolitan Park District, which through tax-payer funding provides much needed maintenance to our parks and recreation facilities. Additionally, he engaged neighborhoods around the development of a Community Center Strategic Plan that led to longer hours at centers, programming targeted to underserved communities, major maintenance to aging centers, and eliminating fees to many drop-in recreation programs. Jesús advocated for the staff at Seattle Parks and Recreation to ensure they received recognition for their excellent service to the city and continued opportunities for growth and development. Most importantly, he was a champion for utilizing park resources to further equity within our city, and in being strategic in how we grow and sustain a park and recreation system as our city changes.
Before Aguirre’s arrival, Christopher Williams served as acting superintendent for four years, after the 2010 departure of Tim Gallagher.