The Parks Department and the Recreation Department in Queen Anne’s County have been reunited as one Parks and Recreation Department and are under the leadership of a new director who brings 15 years of experience in running recreation programs and another 15 years’ experience in park management.
“Steve Chandlee’s varied experience in both specialties is a perfect fit for our county,” said County Administrator Gregg Todd, who worked alongside Chandlee in 2003-2004 when both men worked at QAC Parks and Recreation.
“The year and a half that I was Chief of Recreation here in Queen Anne’s County gave me a good understanding of this community and its needs,” said Chandlee.
He said his first priority since accepting the director’s position is to unify parks and recreation as a whole. “You can’t have one without the other. By recombining them, there will be great efficiencies.”
The departments were split apart in during the recession when many county jobs were eliminated due to the budget crisis. “I want us to make improvements where possible, to bring up both divisions and be a voice for what we need,” Chandlee said.
“The staff here does good hard work and it would be nice to give them a thumbs-up for what they do,” said Chandlee who also wants to make the public aware of improvements and new programs. “It can be a small thing, such as this week while sprucing up Island Dog Park we were able to make it ADA Accessible,” said Chandlee.
Chandlee said he has told his recreation staff that it’s okay to think outside of the box while coming up with new recreation opportunities for citizens. “I told them don’t be afraid to offer something new, even if it fails. Maybe we just need to make adjustments to make a new program successful.”
He feels similarly on the parks’ side, “We have wonderful parks here, but even a great park can be improved upon,” he said.
Chandlee is also interested in hearing from the users of the county’s parks and recreation programs and encourages those with ideas to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.