County Executive Chris Abele
Press Release

County Executive Abele Hires New Parks Director

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will hold a news conference today at Kosciuszko Park to introduce new Parks Director John Dargle.

By - May 30th, 2013 11:18 am

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will hold a news conference today at Kosciuszko Park to introduce new Parks Director John Dargle.

Dargle previously served as the head of the Fairfax County Park Authority, which is an accredited and nationally-respected park system that serves more than one million residents of Fairfax County, Virginia. As Director of the Park Authority, Dargle was responsible for a $65 million operating budget and a $50 million capital budget.

“Our national search for this position brought a number of top notch candidates and among that great group, John stood out,” Abele said. “John is known for his collaborative work with constituents, partners, stakeholders and government leaders. I’m excited to work with him to continue to improve our parks for decades to come.”

Dargle led an award winning department in Fairfax County, including winning the prestigious Gold Medal Award in 2010 for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

“One of the things that most interested me in this job is County Executive Abele’s commitment to parks. At a time when many other places are cutting parks budgets, he is dedicated to improving Milwaukee County parks,” Dargle said. “I look forward to working with Supervisors, other elected officials and, most importantly, the people of Milwaukee County to strengthen the gems of our community.”

In his 2013 Budget, Abele increased the Parks operating budget by more than $1.3 million and added nearly $15 million to capital projects, the biggest increase in more than a decade.

“I want to thank Jim Keegan who took over Parks during this search; he did an incredible job and will be a great asset to John,” said Abele.

Dargle is a graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional.

Dargle was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1995. He served in the Persian Gulf War and was a helicopter pilot. He and his wife Maureen have three children.

Dargle starts next month and will go through the County Board confirmation process.

What: New Parks Director Announcement
When: Today – 1:30 pm
Where: Kosciuszko Park
2201 S. 7th St., Milwaukee

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