City of Astoria Announces New Parks Director
Fri, Jun 12, 2020
ASTORIA, OR, June 1, 2020 – The City of Astoria is pleased to announce that Jonah Dart-McLean has been hired as Director of the Astoria Parks and Recreation Department. Dart-McLean has been serving as the acting and subsequently interim director of the department since November.
He also served as the interim director for 5 months after former Parks Director Angela Cosby left the position in August 2019. During that time he was a candidate for the Director position; however withdrew himself from candidacy.
“While I had considered pursuing the role after Ms. Cosby left, I felt that I still had more to offer the City as Parks Maintenance Supervisor before attempting to change positions. I also had two very young children at home and I wanted to ensure I was available to help my family at that time,” said Dart-McLean. “I’m excited now to move forward as Parks Director and am confident that I’ve gained more skills in the past two years that will help the Department continue its great progress toward improving services for our community.”
Dart-McLean was originally hired as Grounds Coordinator in 2014. He and his family moved to Astoria from southeast Alaska where he was the Capital Projects Coordinator for an Alaskan tribal non-profit. In 2015, he was promoted to Parks Maintenance Supervisor and assisted Cosby on several important projects; including the 2016 Comprehensive Parks Master Plan, inventorying and assessing all Parks Department trees, and facilitating community adoptions of park sites in order to reduce maintenance obligations for the Department.
Dart-McLean successfully obtained a grant from the Oregon State Parks Department for the Doughboy Monument restoration in 2017 and recently, in coordination with former Parks Director Tim Williams, secured $43,000 in grant funds from Pacific Power to install electric charging stations at the Astoria Aquatic Center, a project that will commence this fall. He says he enjoys the many facets of this job and is gratified by the strong community partnerships.
“Jonah has the skills needed to guide the Department through these challenging times and in to the future,” said City Manager Brett Estes. “He has developed positive working relationships within the community and throughout the City organization. I am very pleased to have Jonah as Astoria’s Parks and Recreation Director!”
The City of Astoria has 36 parks; three community halls; ten historical sites; multiple athletic fields and trails; Maritime Memorial Park; Ocean View Cemetery; the Aquatic Center; the Astoria Recreation Center; and Lil’ Sprouts and Port of Play at the Gray School building.
City Manager Estes states that Dart-McLean’s experience with the department; knowledge of facilities, plus his ability to effectively respond to issues made it apparent that he is the right fit as the Director. He has recently worked closely with the City Manager’s office to find solutions as COVID-19 has forced challenges on the Parks Department facilities and staff.
Dart-McLean’s new position is effective immediately.
For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 503-325-5824.