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New Park and Recreation Director
James Garges of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission is the new Park and Recreation director.

January 2, 2007

A new year means a new leader for Mecklenburg County's Park and Recreation Department.

County Manager Harry L. Jones Sr. announced today that James R. (Jim) Garges will take over Mecklenburg County's 228 facilities and 500 employees starting February 1. He will earn $138,000 per year.

Since 2001, Garges has managed Cincinnati, Ohio's Recreation Commission, a system that includes more than 200 employees and a $28 million annual operating budget. Prior to that, he also managed park and recreation departments in Kettering, Ohio, Topeka, Kansas, and Delaware, Ohio.

Jones says he is confident Garges can provide the leadership and innovation necessary to not only maintain the County's vast park system and its programs and services, but to also take it to the next level.

"I was very impressed with his vision and leadership," says Jones. "The Cincinnati Recreation Department has won numerous national awards during his tenure and so has ours. I feel confident he can raise the bar even higher for the department and ultimately our customers."

Mecklenburg County's Park and Recreation Department has more than 210 parks and 16,500 acres of parkland. It operates more than twenty recreation centers, five indoor and outdoor pools, including the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center and Ray's Splash Planet, and hundreds of programs, classes and special events for people of all ages. It also includes a popular greenway system that currently includes 23 miles of developed paths and 158 miles of undeveloped greenways.

Garges takes over for Dot Law, who has been the County's Interim Park and Recreation Director since Wayne Weston retired last July.

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