City Parks Director Richard A. Miller has resigned.
Miller, age 46, of 121 Lyndale Drive, has given his notice to the administration, he said today. He was the department head with the most seniority — just shy of 12 years on the job.
Miller is joining the Rome Sentinel Co. as an editor for the Daily Sentinel. "It is an opportunity at the Sentinel that I feel like I couldn’t pass up, and I’m excited about it and look forward to the challenges and being part of that organization," he said today.
As for leaving City Hall, he said: "It’s sad for me, but at the same time, it is time and I’m looking forward to the new phase of my career. I’ve enjoyed working at City Hall, and particularly as part of the Parks Department, immensely." Miller said he intends to use time off accrued, and thus will not be back at City Hall.
He joined the city as head of the Parks Department on July 24, 2000, under then Mayor Joseph A. Griffo. As parks director, Miller’s 2012 budget was $1,241,490, and he oversaw 25 parks, 13 playgrounds, five pools and the Kennedy Arena. He was in charge of the development of the Sensory Swim program, the indoor park and Pinti Field and the Bark Park. He led the revitalization of Fort Stanwix Park, as well as the renovations and fund raising for 11 playgrounds. He also helped lead the $3 million renovation of Kennedy Arena. The city also created more than three dozen programs for youth.
Miller’s outgoing salary with the city is $78,008.
Mayor Joseph R. Fusco Jr. said today: "I wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors. We’ll continue on doing what we’re doing, running programs and fine tuning the Parks and Recreation Department to do things as best we can. We have staff in place to keep things running." As for replacing Miller, he said: "I had no intention of letting him go, so I have no one waiting in the wings."
Before joining City Hall, Miller taught journalism, English and history at Rome Catholic School from 1997 to 2000. He was an editor for the Sentinel from 1989 to 1997. He is a 1984 graduate of Holland Patent Central School, earned his bachelor’s degree in behavioral studies from Utica College and took graduate courses in secondary education at the College of St. Rose in Albany and Long Island University.
The department does have office staff and supervisors in the field who will keep the day-to-day operations running, Fusco said, and the administration will "have to figure out the role the next recreation director will have."