A City Hall surprise: Parks, Recreation & Culture Director Kerry Dawson resigns

By David F. Rooney

In a move that shocked her staff at the Community Centre, Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Kerry Dawson has resigned her position and will be moving back to Alberta in the New Year.

Kerry Dawson, shown here shortly after she took the post of Director of Parks and Recreation in February 2010. Less than two years later she's moving back to Alberta. Revelstoke Current file photo

“I have been offered a great opportunity in Alberta,” she said in an interview Friday while she was leaving for a visit to Scotland to see her daughter.

“It’s in Morinville, not far from Edmonton. I’ll be director of Community Services — a similar kind of thing to what I was doing here.”

Dawson joined Revelstoke’s municipal government after a stint as Arts Director for the City of Red Deer. She has also worked in Edmonton, Calgary and Hinton.

While here she was expected to cut costs and increase revenues in the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, something she attempted to do but which met stiff opposition from several community groups.

She also ran afoul of citizens upset by her decision to relocate old photos and the Duke of Arrowhead which had for years adorned the Community Centre walls.

Most recently Dawson had formed an ad hoc committee of local community centre users and artists to explore ways of cheaply renovating and modernizing its interior. She said she expects that committee will continue to work towards that goal.

“There are a lot of people from this community that I’ll miss,” Dawson said. “However, there are also aspects of the community that I won’t miss. I don’t think the community was as ready for me as I had hoped.”

Chief Administrative Officer Tim Palmer said Dawson’s departure was entirely her own decision and staff at the Community Centre they did not know she was planning to leave until Dawson told them on Tuesday.