Mayor Steve Bach announced today his appointment of a new Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.
Karen Palus, who was among more than 120 applicants for the job, has more than 20 years of parks and recreational experience with city and county governments, the city said.
Palus most recently served as director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Tampa, Fla., where she worked for seven years.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Palus and another high-ranking parks employee left their jobs “amid a city effort to make the oft-criticized department more responsive.”
“It was a mutual parting of the ways,” city chief of staff Santiago Corrada told the newspaper of Palus.
“She offered her resignation, we accepted it, thanked her for her years of service and wished her well in the future,” Corrada said.
Here’s another account of Palus leaving Tampa “without any fanfare.”
The mayor’s office characterized Palus’ time in Tampa differently.
“During that time, Karen successfully attained National Accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation (CAPRA) for the City of Tampa’s Parks and Recreation Department,” the city said.
“Ms. Palus developed a park in the downtown core of the City of Tampa, after which time the park received numerous awards and was named one of the top ten new parks in the country for 2011. She was the recipient of the Fellow Award, Achievement Award, Outstanding Service Award and Agency Excellence Award from the Florida Recreation and Park Association,” the city said.
Palus, whose appointment must be confirmed by the City Council, is scheduled to start June 18.
Her salary would be $128,000 a year.
“Karen’s extensive experience in park and recreation, as well as her leadership at the local, state and national levels will be a great asset to Colorado Springs,” the mayor said in a statement.