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Auburn Parks & Leisure director resigns

Avalos had worked with city since 2006

POSTED: June 22, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Stanley Dunlap/Barrow County News

Rafael Avalos had worked with the city since 2006.

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Auburn city officials will have to decide which direction to move in following the resignation of the Parks & Leisure Director.

The city council discussed last week whether to hire a person to take over for Rafael Avalos, who resigned last week after working for the city since 2006. The resignation comes a couple weeks before the city’s Independence Day Celebration that Avalos played a major role in planning for.

The discussion among city officials is if the Parks & Leisure Department duties should go back under the Public Works Department. In the meantime, the city council delegated event planning to Public Works Administrative Assistant Charlotte Ewing.

Council members said that the duties should be split between someone handling events and others handling the maintenance of the parks.

"It should be a more activity oriented position rather than so much maintenance," Councilman Bill Ackworth said.

Council members Peggy Langley and Bob Vogel said that logistically it makes more sense to have everything under the umbrella of the Public Works Department.

Councilwoman Dorissa Shackelford said she supports keeping the Parks & Leisure Department.

"The one thing that needs to go back is the physical upkeep of the parks," Shackelford said. "As far as scheduling activities and sports and stuff like that, it should remain as a department head position."

This is the second time that an Auburn department head has resigned this year. Police Chief Paul Nadeau resigned in January.

Avalos had served as head of Parks & Leisure since March 2012. He also worked for Auburn as a senior customer service representative and city clerk.

He was credited with helping with IT work, creating the Auburn Messenger, coordinating events and for being an "IT geek" that handled various problems with technology.

"Overall Rafael is known by all of us as being a good friend," Mayor Linda Blechinger said. "You’re going to be missed, but I wish you the best."



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