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Interim park director to step down

Susan McCabe, interim executive director at the Vashon Park District, has decided to leave the agency at the end of January.

McCabe has been at the agency for seven years, overseeing the district’s various programs. In August, when the five-member commission terminated Jan Milligan, McCabe was named acting director.

But last week, McCabe sent the commissioners a letter saying she planned to step down in three months. She recently experienced some health problems, she said, which have led her to think differently about her priorities.

“My health is something I need to protect,” she said.

The park district has been in a contentious place of late; financial problems have led some Islanders to raise questions about how the agency is being run. McCabe said she’s feeling the pressure.

“I’m spending 12 hours a day behind a computer, with pressure from both sides, ” she said.

But McCabe said she gave the agency plenty of notice, in part because she knows the commissioners have not yet begun the search for a permanent director.

“My hope is to help them find someone who is capable and enthusiastic about doing this job,” she said.

LuAnn Branch, the parks commissioner who is heading up the search effort, said she’s disappointed by the news. “We would have loved to have her as a point of stability for the park district as we move forward,” she said.

The board will now focus on finding McCabe’s replacement, she added.

 

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