The board of commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to offer the position to Rebecca (Becky) Bracewell at an annual salary of $34,000.
Bracewell, who has served as the assistant rec director, has been serving as the interim director since the firing of Phil Gregory late last year.
County commissioners met last Tuesday night behind closed doors to interview the two finalists for the position. Then this week, the board closed the meeting to the public to discuss the matter and when the meeting was reopened to the public, Dist. 5 Commissioner T.D. David made a motion to offer the position to Ms. Bracewell and Dist. 2 Commissioner Billy Poitevint seconded and the full board voting unanimously.
County Administrator Rusty Moye met late Tuesday afternoon with Ms. Bracewell to offer her the position.
In his memo to commissioners, Moye wrote, “After
another thorough and careful review of both the applicants’ resumes, interview questionnaires and work experience records, I know in my heart and mind that we have two extremely qualified individuals seeking this position.”
The second finalist was Chris Henderson, an employee of the city of Albany Parks and Recreation Department.
According to Moye, Bracewell’s work history and fortitude in dealing with both the public and the county commission made her uniquely qualified for the top post.
The recreation department director told The Messenger, “I am excited about the opportunity to serve, working together to make improvements to our existing programs and hopefully introduce some new programs and opportunities for both children and adults.”
Under her leadership, Ms. Bracewell says her department will be more “hands on,” and she and her staff will be “seen” at the ball fields, in the schools and out in the community.
“I am very passionate about recreation. This is not about a title. This is about the kids and making our community a better place,” Ms. Bracewell said.
The county recreation director says a strong recreation program that offers activities for both children and adults is an important key in economic development.
“When people look at coming to a community, they look at our schools, our churches, our hospital and, if they have children, they want to know what is offered for their children to participate in.
In years past, the recreation department has been plagued by complaints about scheduling and public relations, as well as communications.
Ms. Bracewell admits this is one of the biggest challenges facing her, but she already is planning for improvement.
She pledges to put practice schedules in coaches hands when the drafting is complete, and two weeks later game schedules will be distributed.
“I will be doing everything possible to communicate to the public what we are doing and what is going on. I will be working very closely with all of the schools,” she said.
The new recreation director says it is critical to plan schedules around school events and testing.
“It’s all about planning and communications,” she added.