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City Announces New Parks and Recreation Director

Post Date:08/24/2018 3:30 AM


Contact: Eileen Cross, Community Relations Specialist, 831.676.7090



Santa Cruz (August 24, 2018) – After a nation-wide search, the City of Santa Cruz is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Tony Elliott as the new Parks and Recreation Director. Beginning September 20, Mr. Elliot will take over leadership of the city’s parks and recreation programs.

The City began the nation-wide recruitment for the new Parks and Recreation Director in June. Twelve candidates were selected from a pool of eighty for additional screening, with four candidates chosen for in-person interviews. Two separate community panels representing the diverse interests of Santa Cruz conducted interviews with the four finalists. Mr. Elliot clearly stood out amongst the finalists.

Mr. Elliot comes to the City with over a decade of experience in the public sector, most recently serving as Director of Parks and Recreation for Fishers, Indiana. In addition to extensive professional experience in managing parks and recreation programs, Mr. Elliot also brings volunteer experience working with children, seniors and neighborhoods. “We’re excited to have Tony Elliot join the City of Santa Cruz,” said Martín Bernal, City Manager. “Tony’s passion and enthusiasm for parks and recreation, his experience with community engagement, and his commitment to efficient and effective delivery of programs and services made him a standout candidate.”

The Parks and Recreation Director oversees the administrative, programmatic and fiscal responsibilities of the Department, and public facilities including the Municipal Wharf, the Civic Auditorium and Louden Nelson Community Center. Mr. Elliot will lead a staff of over two hundred full-time and temporary employees, and will manage implementation plans for the Parks Master Plan.

Mr. Elliot is a graduate of Indiana University, is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and has received awards in excellence for innovative parks programming. Mr. Elliot speaks fluent Spanish.

The City of Santa Cruz is the county seat and largest city in Santa Cruz County. The City serves over 63,000 residents with full services including police, utility, waste, recreation, and library programs. Santa Cruz is a Charter City governed by a seven-member Council.


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