Mayor Picks New Director of Recreation and Parks

Brian Woodward will be tasked with solving the Kingsport community garden dispute as soon as he's confirmed.

The city of Annapolis may soon have a new director of its . Brian Woodward previously served as Southern Parks Division Chief for Montgomery County.

Mayor Josh Cohen said he is hopeful the City Council will confirm Woodward at its June 18 meeting.

"Brian was one of our better employees," said Woodward's former boss, Montgomery County's Acting Deputy Director of Operations Gene Giddens. "Annapolis couldn't have made a better choice."

Woodward worked under Giddens for five years, and he described Annapolis' potential new director as dependable, prompt and flexible. 

"He thinks ahead," Giddens said. "He always has a plan of attack."

Those skills will certainly come in handy. Cohen said one of the first items on Woodward's agenda will be tackling the .

"The overall project is still in the budget, but the wording about the design and you know, 10 parking spaces and community garden and this and that is all taken out. It talks about a planning process that will happen," Cohen said. "One of his [Woodward's] first orders of business is going to be spearheading this process and really shepherding the community participation piece."

Woodward graduated from the of University of Maryland where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in resource conservation and wildlife biology. He also holds a Master of Science degree in public administration from George Washington University. 

He will replace former the department's former director , who stepped down in January.

The Department of Recreation and Parks has been run by Dick Callahan in the interim, and the mayor thanked him for his service in a press release.

What do you think of the new director? Tell me in the comments.

Todd Mezner June 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Mr. Woodard, Congratulations on your impending confirmation as Director of Recreation and Parks. As your first order of business may I recommend that you first check the Grow Annapolis website to make sure that you’re not listed as a member of their Board of Advisors. It seems that your predecessor as well as one of your future colleagues were bestowed upon them this position without even knowing about it. The second thing that I would suggest doing is asking the Mayor to put together a formal investigation around Grow Annapolis with regard to their misrepresentations in an attempt to collect donations. The federal government is already aware of this misconduct and reams of paper have been sent to them as evidence. It seems however that the mayor doesn’t think this is important. He is allowing local businesses and residents to be fleeced by Grow Annapolis under the auspice of “it’s just a garden, what harm can they do” and the consistent and bold misrepresentations that have been publically advertised, and documented, on their website. Congratulations! As long as you don’t mind federal investigations, cover ups, ethics violations and closed door meetings….. you’ll should have nothing to worry about.
Jane Shepard June 15, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Thanks, Todd. You are not alone on this issue, but we are so tired of being berated and called racist and elitist by Grow Annapolis; we are worn out by Joel. Why has he and the city made secret agreements to give a tiny park to the Slow Food Movement? Grow Annapolis told no one in the community. What is it about this tiny park that he is so obsessed with? I think he is trying to disrupt relations within our community and beyond. That's what he is doing. Annapolis Walk Park, next to our neighbors, is a three-acre parcel, with parking and no deer, perfect for community gardens. The new director needs to honor the agreement made by Sheila Finlayson with Kingsport HOA to bring the park to its 2006 CIP description, when it was donated by Kingsport, and delete Grow Annapolis, a thorn in all our sides.
Anna Staver June 15, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Hi Jane, thanks for taking the time to comment about the Kingsport Park issue. I've noticed that you've commented a lot regarding this issue. I am trying to put together a story that separates fact from fiction, and I would love to ask you some questions. If you would be interested, please email me.


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