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Parks and Rec Reverses Course, Adds to Pershing Square Management

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, January 15, 2009, at 11:26AM
Pershing Square Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Pershing Square, viewed from the Oviatt Building in a 2007 file photo.

Pershing Square's organizational chart is getting a shake-up, but it's not the one the community had been upset by just days ago.

This morning, top officials from Recreation and Parks appeared at a meeting of the Pershing Square Park Advisory Board to tell the community that Recreation Director Louise Capone would be staying, and that the park would be getting a new facilities manager, Ann Vollmer.

Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager John Mukri attended the early morning meeting to soothe strained relations between members of the advisory board and the department. He stressed that the changes represented a new beginning for how the park's management will relate to the neighborhood.

Mukri told the Advisory Board that he left Capone at Pershing Square after calling her and asking what she would prefer. Capone chose to stay at the park, citing unfinished business that she hoped to see accomplished.

Vollmer comes to Pershing Square after spending the last ten years managing citywide projects for the department. Most recently she was in charge of overseeing a therapeutic program for seniors. Vollmer has been working for the parks department for 39 years, 32 of those in a full-time capacity.

Though focused on Pershing Square, the meeting did include discussion of the new Historic Core park announced yesterday. Mukri said that he hopes to see additional purchases take place. "I'm not going to stop acquisitions with the downturn in the economy," he told the group.

Vollmer officially starts at Pershing Square on Wednesday. Her office will be in the first level of the garage.

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