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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

City parks development director fills interim director spot

Interim Spokane City Parks and Recreation Director Garrett Jones is photographed in Riverfront Park on Feb. 25, 2019. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

After working with the parks department as an intern a decade ago, Garrett Jones, the department’s planning and development director, is now the interim parks director.

Leroy Eadie, who retired as parks director last month, said Jones has been on his short list of potential replacements for the past few years because of his experience managing parks projects and his communication and relationship-building skills.

“The Parks and Recreation director, as much as any position in City Hall, has to build relationships,” Eadie said. “Garrett has that ability, a natural instinct. … He’s affable, he’s friendly, outgoing, cares what you have to say and that is supercool to see.”

Jones, who graduated from Washington State University with a degree in landscape architecture, worked with the department as a park operations intern in 2008. After working as a landscape architect for a design-build firm, he was hired by the city and eventually promoted to planning and development manager, his position before becoming interim parks director.

Jones said he’s seen Eadie as a mentor over the years and he’s appreciated how he has kept a level head and backed up and supported staff throughout different park projects over the years.

“In this environment, there’s a lot of ups and downs and a lot of emotion, and to have that level-headed leader leading the way is really important,” Eadie said.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said Mayor David Condon and City Administrator Theresa Sanders will not fill four vacant top-level city positions as they will be elected in November.

Feist has been acting communications director since former city spokesman Brian Coddington left City Hall. The Neighborhood and Business Services division director has been vacant since Dawn Kinder left the city for Catholic Charities. CFO Gavin Cooley and Budget Director Crystal Marchand have led the city’s finance division since former director Tim Dunivant left City Hall.