Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa hires Baltimore official as new parks and recreation director

TAMPA — Two years after being asked to turn around the parks department in Baltimore, Greg Bayor is taking on a similar mission in Tampa.

Bayor was named Tuesday to replace Karen Palus, who resigned in December as Tampa's parks and recreation director.

"What Greg's going to bring is a good mix," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.

In a career of more than 30 years, Bayor, 64, has experience with both big-city and suburban programs, having worked as director of recreation in Montgomery County, Md.

"Some of our parks are a lot more suburban than urban; for example, New Tampa," Buckhorn said. He also praised Bayor's record of building relationships with groups like the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Baltimore Ravens.

Finally, it didn't hurt that Baltimore has its own lacrosse program, "which I would like very much to see implemented down here," said Buckhorn, who played the sport at Penn State.

A graduate of the University of Baltimore — where, by the way, he played Division I lacrosse himself — Bayor will be paid $132,000 annually. A start date has not been set, but Bayor will work in an interim capacity until he moves to Tampa, at which time the City Council will consider his nomination.

In Baltimore, Bayor has 215 employees and a $32 million budget. Here, he'll run a department with 485 positions and a budget of nearly $50 million.

When he became Baltimore's recreation and parks director in April 2010, Bayor was told to improve programming and craft a strategic plan for a department that had been cut repeatedly and had morale problems.

Since then, the department has put together a task force of community and business representatives to write a master plan. It is now looking for and has had some success finding private partners to operate its recreation centers, which tend to be small.

In Tampa, he'll come into a department that Buckhorn wants to make more responsive. He said Bayor will need to focus on morale, team-building and "getting everybody focused on what their task is and excited about coming to work."

That's one of Bayor's strengths, said Baltimore City Council member William Cole.

"He's done a remarkable job," said Cole, the chairman of that council's recreation committee. He said Bayor values customer service and expects performance but is approachable and will "sit down and talk with anybody."

"There is not any question that he's leaving us in a much better spot than we were in when he started," Cole said.

Tampa hires Baltimore official as new parks and recreation director 03/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Hard Knocks' effect: Jameis Winston jersey sales surging

    Bucs

    Two weeks into the national publicity of HBO's "Hard Knocks," Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's No. 3 jerseys are selling well, as he made the biggest leap in this week's jersey report from Dick's Sporting Goods.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's No. 3 jerseys are selling well. [Getty Images]
  2. Top 5 at noon: Southern Heritage group draw fire; video shows Tampa's transformation; and more

    News

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

    Strategic Property Partners is working with more than a dozen architectural and design firms on the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project. [Photo courtesy of SPP]
  3. Pinellas receives two charter school applications

    Blogs

    Following a two-year dry spell, the Pinellas County school district has received two new applications to open charter schools in St. Petersburg.

    Windsor Preparatory Academy in St. Petersburg could be home to Pinellas Academy of Math and Science's St. Petersburg campus. The Pinellas County school district received a charter school application from that school's leadership this fall to open in 2018.
  4. Southern Heritage group draws fire for posting personal information of Confederate statue opponents

    Politics

    TAMPA — Curtiss Wilson is an 89-year-old Tampa resident who fought in the civil rights movement.

    Charled "Fred" Hearns, an expert on local African-American history, is listed in the Save Southern Heritage Florida report as a "resentful black man." Hearns, 68, said he is resentful: "I resent racism and symbols of hatred." [Times files]
  5. Gen. Votel interview: 'A bit of a stalemate' in Afghanistan, but a chance to optimize gains there

    Military

    In developing the plan for the war in Afghanistan that he announced Monday night, President Donald Trump consulted with advisers including his military leaders through their chain of command.