Astoria is losing another department head.
Angela Cosby, the director of the Parks and Recreation Department, announced Thursday she is leaving the city to take a job as the parks and recreation director for Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Her last day is Aug. 15.
Jonah Dart-McLean, the parks maintenance supervisor, will take over as interim director.
“Astoria is a magical place and the community has left a profound impact on me personally and professionally,” Cosby wrote in a letter to the Parks, Recreation and Community Foundation.
“While there’s still work to be done and adjustments to be made, the department is in a more sustainable place than it has been in the past several decades.”
Cosby’s departure comes at a time when the city is still trying to fill two other department head positions: the fire chief and the community development director.
City Manager Brett Estes hopes to interview candidates for the posts in August as the search for a new parks director begins.
Cosby has worked as the city’s parks and recreation director for the past five years, overseeing 36 parks as well as multiple trails, historical sites, athletic fields, community programs, the Ocean View Cemetery in Warrenton, the Astoria Recreation Center and the Aquatic Center, among other duties.
The department weathered major shifts during her tenure, in particular a painful effort to represent the true costs of operations and establish sustainable funding sources. The city wrestled with various funding scenarios and cut programs during this time. The City Council ultimately approved an increase to the lodging tax to help provide a steadier source of income for parks.
In April, Cosby presented the first budget that matched the department’s expenses with revenue and did not rely on transfers from the general fund to pencil out.
“We are grateful to Angela for her commitment and vision for the parks department,” Estes said. “She has worked hard for her staff, and worked alongside the City Council and other city department staff to stabilize funding scenarios while finding creative ways to utilize our open spaces. The parks department is in a more sustainable place.”
This year, Cosby focused on rebuilding and stabilizing the department’s internal operations after a year of uncertainty, hiring on staff and streamlining processes. It is work Estes is confident will continue.
“The funding sources are in place and there’s a good team on board to be able to take everything and run with it,” he said.