PenMet Parks to keep executive director

Recreation: Board renews Terry Lee’s annual contract for a fourth year

of the GatewayJanuary 1, 2014 

Terry Lee is signing on for another year as the executive director of the Peninsula Metropolitan Parks District.

The PenMet Parks Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Dec. 16 to retain Lee. He has been in the position, on an annual contract, for the past three years.

This year has been more difficult, Lee said. Due to pro-rationing of taxes, the parks district is operating on a tighter budget — it lost 60 percent of its funding.

“We are doing amazing things this year with very little revenue,” Lee said.

Lee signed on for the job despite an attempt to retire after his term limits on the Pierce County Council expired. The expected candidate for the role, culled from a nationwide search, was unable to take the job. Lee begrudgingly agreed to an interview.

“Now it’s gone on to four years later,” he said.

Lee said the most rewarding part of the job is building partnerships with other groups in the area. He works with several organizations and sits on boards for the Tacoma Narrows Airport, the Harbor History Museum and Pierce Transit. He uses those positions to bring in partnerships for PenMet Parks.

It was his community influence that appealed to the parks district, which hoped to build a strong presence through branding and partnerships. Lee said he enjoys working with agencies such as Gig Harbor Fire District 5, the Peninsula School District, YMCA, Peninsula Athletic Association and the City of Gig Harbor.

Lee said he’s excited about the job because he enjoys getting things done for the community. The parks district recently opened a second dog park and plans to open registration for a new indoor soccer league at the Gig Harbor Athletic Club.

Lee’s new contract will last another year. He prefers that so the board can review his role annually, he said.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.

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