Dover library director to pull double-duty: Margie Cyr takes on new role with Parks & Rec

DOVER — Many things are new and some not so new for Margie Cyr, who took over responsibilities as acting director of the city of Dover’s Parks and Recreation Division on Oct. 4.

Ms. Cyr, who has served as chief librarian at the Dover Public Library since September 2008, will now be splitting her time between books and playground equipment after Acting City Manager Donna Mitchell recently appointed her as head of Parks and Recreation on a six-month trial basis.

Kirby Hudson, Dover’s assistant city manager, said Ms. Cyr has the perfect skill set to take on the parks and recreation challenge.

“It’s a very big job,” Mr. Hudson said. “What the city is definitely feeling is that the public in general would like to see more programming and a new revamping for an entity to potentially take care of the parks down the road.

“We have so many parks and way things have been handed is Public Works has been using their folks for making repairs and grass cutting, etc.

Margie Cyr

“Now people are asking for more parks. If this continues we may have to — in the future — have a separate division or group of people to take care of parks.”

Mr. Hudson added that Ms. Cyr’s talent at developing several dozens of different programming options at the library made her the ideal candidate to take on the parks and recreation job.

“I am learning and it is an interesting opportunity and I like challenges, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Ms. Cyr. “It’s a whole different kind of work and that’s OK.

“I’ve been a librarian for 30 years and I’ve loved the library world, so this is an opportunity to learn something new and something I don’t really know anything about.

“What I do know about though is community service and quality of life issues. That’s what we do here at the library and that’s what parks and recreation does, too.”

Ms. Cyr’s trial appointment at splitting her time between both the library and parks and recreation departments did not require approval by city council.

She will be compensated with a five percent pay increase during her parks and recreation trial run.

Ms. Cyr acknowledges it will be a big job considering she will be accountable not only for the recreational programs offered by the city, but also for overseeing 28 parks, including the large anchor parks of Schutte Park, Silver Lake Park and Dover Park.

Ann Marie Townshend, former director of planning and community development for Dover, took over running the Parks and Recreation Department in 2013 after Zachery Carter, who was hired as Parks and Recreation director in 1988, retired from the position in 2012.

Mrs. Townshend held the post until she accepted a position as Lewes’ city manager last March.

Ms. Cyr was asked to take the job by Mrs. Mitchell in an effort to give Dave Hugg, Dover’s acting director of planning and community development, more time to deal with other issues around the city.

Plus, the Parks and Recreation Department could be on the verge of growth and Ms. Cyr might be the perfect person to oversee it.

The Parks and Recreation Division currently has five full-time and 14 part-time employees.

“Who knows, eventually this all might morph into something else,” Mr. Hudson said. “With Margie (Cyr) being there and with her record of great success with the library, it just makes sense to have her take a look at it.”

If the double-duty job fails to work out for Ms. Cyr, the city manager’s office will ask city council to add a new position to next year’s city budget.

Ms. Cyr said she is looking forward to the new challenge.

“Kirby (Hudson’s) my direct supervisor and he’s great to work with,” she said. “I really like working with Kirby, so I have great support. That’s really important to have.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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