Longtime city parks chief stepping down
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Apr 17, 2013 | 1735 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Luis Molina reads a proclamation in honor of Recreation and Community Services Director Adrienne Chaney during the Patterson City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 16, as Mayor Pro Tem Larry Buehner and Councilwoman Deborah Novelli look on. Chaney will be leaving her post April 30.--Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator
Mayor Luis Molina reads a proclamation in honor of Recreation and Community Services Director Adrienne Chaney during the Patterson City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 16, as Mayor Pro Tem Larry Buehner and Councilwoman Deborah Novelli look on. Chaney will be leaving her post April 30.--Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator
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Tears welled in the eyes of several attendees at the City Council meeting

on Tuesday, April 16, as Patterson Recreation and Community Services Director Adrienne Chaney gave perhaps her last speech before the council.

The 44-year-old is resigning

effective April 30 and was honored with a proclamation and plaque Tuesday.

She said with a laugh that when her husband, Kit, applied for a teaching job at Patterson High School in 1998, they both asked, “Where is Patterson?”

“Now, it is a place we will never forget,” she said.

About two years ago, Chaney and her husband began talking about a change in their lives when former City Manager Cleve Morris left the city.

Following the hiring of Rod Butler as the new city manager, she said she and her family were ready for new challenges and wanted to leave the city on a positive note.

Her husband is also retiring from his teaching position, and they plan to live on a catamaran sailboat in Tacoma, Wash., with their two high school-aged children.

“We’ve been taking sailing lessons now for about two years,” Chaney said Tuesday afternoon before the council meeting. “The ultimate goal is to eventually circumnavigate the globe.”

It will be a few years before they attempt the feat, she said.

“Right now, there is a lot to learn,” she said.

Chaney, who has worked part-time for the city since February, said her family has “been very blessed in Patterson.”

But her job was anything but part-time for most of the past 15 years.

From a population of less than 10,000 in 1998, Patterson has nearly doubled in size. In that time, recreation in the city has expanded as well. Chaney said that when she first joined the city, she had to prepare sports fields for play and then act as a referee because there was no recreation staff.

“When I started, we just had youth sports programs and no facilities,” she said. “We just started developing relationships.”

By the year 2000, the parks and recreation departments had merged. They remained together as a single department until 2012, when Butler restructured city management and decided to split them, with parks moving to the Public Works Department.

At the time, Chaney became director of the newly designated Recreation and Community Services Department.

Chaney told attendees at Tuesday’s council meeting that she still believes parks and recreation belong together, and she said after the meeting that she and Butler have different philosophies in that regard.

At the same time, she gave kudos to Butler as well as Morris and former City Manager George Lambert for their work on behalf of the city.

Under Chaney’s watch, the city has developed a senior center, an aquatic center, a skate park, recreation programs for youth and a teen center.

She said she is most proud of helping develop many of the city’s parks and landscape maintenance districts that charge fees in newer developed neighborhoods for maintaining neighborhood parks.

Plans for a permanent teen center are in place, along with a community center.

Karen Willard, who worked with Chaney for nine years as a parks and recreation commissioner, said Chaney did a lot for the city.

“She was great,” Willard said. “She was professional and dedicated and had the interest of the city and the kids at heart. People don’t realize all the extra hours and work she put in for the city.”

• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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