Milton's First Parks and Recreation Director Gives Notice
Bonacci has another full-time job she wants to fulfill–that of mom to her three children.
If you see Milton Parks and Recreation Director Cyndee Bonacci at tonight's "Boogie at Birmingham" concert, you might want to thank her if you like the work she has done for the city. She won't be with the city for much longer.
Milton's first Parks and Recreation director needs to be home with her three children, so she's given the city a month's notice to find a replacement.
"Cyndee has had a wonderful opportunity to present itself to her to leave and be a stay at home mom for her three kids," said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom.
"She was really the first Parks and Recreation Director that we had," he said. "Any of the parks developments and programs that you see today–other than Hopewell Youth Association Baseball at Bell Memorial Park–are really accomplishments that she's had a hand in."
That includes fitness boot camps, baseball camps, two summer camps, the renovation of Bethwell Community Center and getting agreements with schools for recreational use of their facilities.
City Council member Karen Thurman said Bonacci has done a tremendous job in the time she's been at Milton getting the Parks and Recreation Department going. She's done a good job setting the city up for the future.
"I hate to lose her, but definitely understand her priorities," Thurman said.
"I feel strongly that we have accomplished a lot in the past one and a half years. It feels like I have done about three years' worth of work in that amount of time," Bonacci said in an email interview.
She said several significant planning projects are out to bid and will be underway later this summer including the Citywide Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Birmingham Park Master Plan and the Milton Trail Plan Update.
"The other thing that often goes unnoticed, she's been a special events coordinator for every special event the city has had," Lagerbloom said.
The increase in size and participation in the Memorial Day, Christmas in Crabapple, Milton Tree Lighting, Milton Roundup and other city programs has been attributable to her work, he said.
Bonacci said the city has continued and added several special events, which was the number one priority coming from the Needs Assessment.
"All of our Milton events have grown in popularity and attendance over the past year and a half," she said.
The special events and her two and a half hours driving to and from work every day have taken her away from her family.
"That means something when you've got young kids," Lagerbloom said.
"With regard to my decision to leave, I have the most beautiful three children in the world, Shea, 9, Isaac, 6, and Phillip, 3," Bonacci said. "While I can always choose to work, my kids will not always be kids. I also have the most wonderful husband, Ryan.
"The timing for me to leave worked great because the kids are home for the summer and I will get to spend time with them before they head back to school in August. I am at peace with my decision and am very excited about the opportunity to focus all of my efforts on my family," she said.
The city is working toward July 5 to fill her position, which is posted on the city's Web site. Until then she remains at work. And she's offered to work part-time on a consultancy basis until the city does fill the position.