The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners welcomed John Allen from the City of Tampa as the new Monroe County Parks and Beaches director at the July 22 special meeting in Key West.
Allen is leaving his current management position that oversees 27 community centers, four art studios, and two senior centers to move to the Florida Keys. He has developed and implemented senior, teen, youth, and anti-bullying programs, and created new special events. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Health, Leisure, and Sports from the University of West Florida.
“His background in staff training, internship and volunteer programs, creating partnerships, and grant writing appear to be the perfect match of what we are looking for in this new position,” said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi. “His passion and understanding of recreation will benefit our residents and visitors who enjoy our 22 parks and beaches across the county.”
The position was reopened in April 2021 after closing in early 2020 due to COVID-19 budget cuts. Employee Services received a total of 94 applications, with 39 qualified applicants for the role. The Parks and Beaches director is a new position. Allen will have the key responsibilities to develop plans and programs for existing and future parks, coordinate recreational needs of the community, handle public inquiries regarding county parks and beaches, monitor agreements with sports leagues, and oversee park maintenance and staff, among many other things.