Whitfield hires interim recreation chief

Whitfield hires interim recreation chief

March 29th, 2011 by Mariann Martin in News

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell/Chattanooga Times Free Press Ronnie Nix, Dalton Parks and Recreation director, points out park projects on Lakeshore Park map that are in the works in Dalton, Ga.

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell/Chattanooga Times Free Press Ronnie...

DALTON, Ga. - Whitfield County leaders have hired an interim Recreation Department director for four months while the city and county decide if they want to move ahead with merging their recreation departments.

County commissioners voted Monday in a specially called meeting to appoint Brian Chastain as interim director for 120 days. Chastain previously had worked as the interim Varnell city manager and recreation department director. He also was employed with the Whitfield County Recreation Department part time, Chastain said.

The county's previous recreation director, George Page, resigned Friday to take a job as director of Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority.

Since the Dalton recreation director, Ronnie Nix, plans to retire in June, leaders said this may be a good time to combine the two departments, county spokesman Mitch Talley said Monday.

"We haven't made any decisions on it, but the city and county have held some meetings," Talley said.

The county decided not to hire a permanent director until commissioners know if they plan to consolidate, Talley said.

The two governments are working toward putting complete consolidation on a referendum vote in November 2012 but previously have combined several departments.

Leaders have said they may move ahead with consolidating their recreation departments ahead of the merger vote if it is the best thing to do.

Contact staff writer Mariann Martin at mmartin@timesfreepress.com or 706-980-5824.