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New director to help guide parks' transition

Little's first item is to move to new offices

POSTED: August 12, 2011 11:23 p.m.

After a less-than-stable month in leadership at Hall County Parks and Leisure, the department now has an acting director.

Assistant County Administrator Marty Nix announced that Mike Little will take the job. Little has managed the Allen Creek Soccer Complex in Hall for 10 years.

"Mike is a well-known and well-respected member of the recreational community in Hall County," Nix said in a news release. "We will need his strong leadership and deep knowledge of the department as we move forward with the restructuring of parks and leisure."

Discussions for Little's appointment began less than two weeks ago, Little said.

"I'm excited and honored to be offered the opportunity to work with the staff in streamlining our operation and moving forward," Little said in the release.

Little's salary as acting director will be $62,998, said County Administrator Randy Knighton. His pay will come out of the Parks and Leisure Services budget.

Little will continue to manage Allen Creek Soccer Complex, he said.

"It seemed like a good way to streamline the department without having to hire another director, and I see it as a challenge and a natural career move for me."

His term at the complex has familiarized him with Gainesville Parks and Recreation and the school system, he said.

"I feel like I've got a fairly good pulse on the community," he said.

On Thursday, the Hall County Board of Commissioners approved a new operational plan for the parks department that includes using reserve funds, increasing user fees and closing the Rainey Street main office.

Little's first item on his agenda as parks director is to move the Parks and Leisure Department out of the Rainey Street office. The department will move into East Hall and Mulberry Creek Community Centers.

Little said his acting director's title mean he will likely be considered for a longer term after 60 to 90 days.

"At that point they would re-evaluate the situation and either appoint me director or not," he said.

Little has a bachelor's degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. He worked as athletic and recreation director for the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford, N.C., for 14 years. He became the first manager at Allen Creek in August 2001.

Nix was appointed as the head of the county's parks and leisure services after former director Greg Walker left Aug. 1. Nix was appointed assistant administrator in July.

 



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