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Kate Mattison named Gainesville’s new parks director
Kate Mattison is a finalist for the Gainesville Parks and Recreation director position. (Courtesty Kate Mattison)

Gainesville has officially chosen a new parks director to succeed longtime retiring director Melvin Cooper.

Kate Mattison, a former recreation services administrator with Dublin, Ohio, was named the sole finalist for the job in February. She will start May 28.

She worked in Dublin for five years and previously worked in Gahanna, Ohio, for four years.

Cooper, who will be retiring May 31, said Mattison’s “knowledge of the parks and recreation business and her enthusiasm and passion for the job” made her a good fit.

John Simpson, chairman of the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Board, said the board anticipates that Mattison will work well with existing parks staff.

“We love her energy and her new ideas. … She fits our incredible team that we already have at Gainesville Parks and (Recreation) and her leadership skills are going to be great with the team that we already have in place that Melvin hired,” Simpson said.

Mattison also said she was looking forward to starting work in Gainesville.

“I’m thrilled to have accepted the position and very excited to begin working with the team,” she said in an email. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of them and have been fortunate to also spend time with Melvin. I’m looking forward to trying to fill his shoes as best I can.”

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