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Ashe County parks director explains resignation

Originally published: Aug. 3, 2012
Last modified: Aug. 3, 2012

Jesse Campbell

Ashe County Parks and Recreation Director Rita Prevette said she is stepping down from her post at the department to spend more time with her family. 

Prevette submitted her resignation on July 17, given the county a one-month notice to find a replacement. 

Prevette also said the recent termination of four part-time employees is not related to her decision to leave the department. 

Through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Ashe Mountain Times, the newspaper learned that Tracy Elliott, Dustin Hamm, Catheryn Latham, and Jordan Nichols were terminated from the department in early June. 

Citing personnel confidentiality laws, county officials did not say if the terminations occurred at the same time or were related to a particular event. Citing the same laws, officials also would not comment on Prevette's resignation.

Ultimately, Prevette said, the demanding nature of the position, which includes night and weekend work, conflicted with her responsibilities in caring for her 1-year-old child. 

“After much thought, prayer, consideration and trepidation, I made the decision to redirect my priorities and put my family first,” said Prevette on Friday. “My time with ACPR has been one that has afforded me the opportunity to lead the department and accomplish excellence.”

Prevette said she has taken pride in leading the department to a “balanced budget, program growth, the procurement of grants, grounds improvement and meeting community needs.”

The timing for a change also seemed right, she said.

“One of the reasons I have chosen this time is it is the slowest season for the parks' department and would be the easiest transition,” said Prevette. 

Prevette has also pledged to stay on with the department until a replacement is found and to provide consultation, as well as any other type of assistance. 

“I don't want to jeopardize anything this department has worked so hard for, or make any of the current staff uncomfortable,” said Prevette. “This is really a great department with great employees.”

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.