After 5 years, Parks and Rec leader bids county adieu

Putnam County officials bid farewell Tuesday to the Parks and Recreation Department leader who has been at her post for more than five years.

The Board of County Commissioners and department staff said goodbye to Angie Whisnant, who tendered her resignation to County Administrator Terry Suggs last week.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Miss Angie to celebrate the accomplishments of her staff and the things they’ve done for Putnam County,” Suggs said. “But it’s also a bittersweet day.”

Moments earlier, commissioners approved a resolution declaring July as Parks and Recreation Month.

Suggs commended Whisnant for always “doing what was right” and “making the right decisions.”

Commissioner Jeff Rawls said even though he has only been a commissioner for eight months, he has been impressed by Whisnant’s ability to work with the board and members of the public.

Commissioner Buddy Goddard commended Whisnant for her patience in dealing with the board, with Commissioner Larry Harvey saying Whisnant always had the best interests of Putnam County residents at heart.

“She’s always stuck up for Putnam County,” Harvey said. “She represented us well.”

Commissioner Terry Turner was direct in his statement, saying he was sad she was leaving and calling Whisnant “one of the good guys around here.”

Whisnant thanked board members for their praise and well-wishes. She also recognized the work of staff and volunteers and credited them with the department’s successes. 

“I have enjoyed every moment, every challenge, and I couldn’t have done it without these folks standing behind me,” Whisnant said. “I feel like I’m leaving the department better than I found it, but it’s just the beginning. You got a lot of dedicated folks behind me.”

Whisnant has spent five and a half years as Putnam’s Parks and Recreation director. Whisnant’s annual salary was $64,030, according to Laurie Parker, interim human resources director for Putnam County.

During that time, she oversaw the installation of five new playgrounds, three new picnic pavilions and two volleyball courts; the resurfacing of four sports courts; the opening of Florahome and Tanglewylde parks and Interlachen Community Center; and improvements to two other parks.  

“Angie always provided leadership and direction that the department needed, and she did it with tact and grace,” said Tess Simpson, the department’s recreation manager. “Angie Whisnant has been an asset to our community, our department and to each of us as recreation professionals.”

Palatka Daily News

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