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Friday February 12th, 2016 9:35PM

New Hall Co. parks chief named

By by Ken Stanford
GAINESVILLE - Hall County Administrator Jim Shuler Wednesday announced the appointment of Deborah Mockus as director of Parks and Leisure Services, effective December 2.

Mockus has worked in the recreation field for 27 years. Most recently, she served as Leisure Services Director for Athens-Clarke County. She will replace Carey Wright, who has retired.

Named Parks & Recreation "Agency of the Year" in 2001, the Athens-Clarke department consists of 75 full-time employees. Mockus directed the opening of several new or renovated parks, including new playgrounds or trails at 17 county schools; an Environmental and Natural Science Center; additions and renovations to an Arts Center; work with greenspace and greenway; and more than $35 million in SPLOST and capital improvement projects.

Mockus said she'll miss the people of Athens-Clarke County.

"I am going to miss the job itself, but this definitely is a good career move for me and that's pretty much what's driving me to do it," Mockus said.

"I have heard a lot of good things about the growth that's taking place in Hall County, particularly in the parks and leisure services department," Mockus said.

Before taking the Athens job, Mockus was director from 1990 to 1996 of Parks and Recreation for East Hartford, Conn.

The first choice for the Hall County job, John McClelland, resigned September 10, one week after accepting the position, saying he had decided to stay in his native Kentucky.
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