County manager fires several parks and rec staff

Linda BurchetteAssistant

August 6, 2012

Linda Burchette

Assistant Editor

Ashe County Parks and Recreation Director Rita Prevette said this past weekend that her resignation effective Aug. 17 is for personal family reasons, and not connected to the recent termination of several part-time staff members by County Manager Pat Mitchell.

“At no point have I ever been asked to resign a job,” said Prevette, who earns $37,713 plus benefits in her current position and gave the county manager a one-month notice.

“I have been looking at my priorities, and family comes first,” said Prevette. “I need to focus on my child now (she and her husband have a 14-month-old son). She also has a 16-year-old daughter. She said she and her husband decided it was a perfect time for her to focus on the family.

Prevette said spending so much of her time on the job has left little for her family, and she wants to spend that time with her son. “I have been very blessed to have the opportunity to spend more time with my child,” she said.

Prevette said now is the opportune time for her to leave because there are no parks and recreation leagues operating until October. “I have agreed to assist however needed,” she said.

Prevette said she is happy with the accomplishments of Ashe County Parks and Recreation in the past five years she has been with the department, the last two as director: “the grants achieved, the growth of programs, grounds improvement, and meeting the community needs.” She oversaw the first two tournaments at the new Family Central ball fields, the completion of the skate park, and is overseeing the construction of new restrooms at Ashe County Park.

County Manager Pat Mitchell said last week that within the next several days she would appoint an interim director for parks and recreation, and at some point she will post the director’s position locally and with state employment websites.

“Depending on the interim, I may wait to post the job or I may go ahead,” Mitchell said, adding that the interim director chosen would go through the same application process as anyone else for the job.

Two individuals have already sent resumes for the director’s position, said Mitchell, but she said she is not reading or filing resumes or applications at this time.

Mitchell released the names of the part-time employees recently terminated, but would not comment on the reasons behind those terminations, citing confidentiality of personnel records. The part-time employees terminated (earning $9.18 an hour) were Tracy A. Elliott, Dustin M. Hamm, Catheryn D. Latham and Jordan S. Nichols.

All full-time positions with parks and recreation are currently filled, said Mitchell.