Ask Rip

"Ask RIP" Answers to Your Parks Questions

Rip Robertson is the first Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tucker. He takes the job with years of experience in Parks and Rec, as well as Public Works. Rip is a former Military Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army and is active with the Army

Rip RobertsonEach month, I use this space as an opportunity to answer your questions about the new Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Tucker. I get individual questions everyday and, rather than just answer them for one person, I like to get that information out to as many people as I can across the entire community.

Lately, I’ve received a lot of questions about Tucker Recreation Center. It makes sense: this is the first of the parks assets we’re taking over from DeKalb County and we begin operations there on January 2. So, I thought that in this month’s Ask Rip, I would take the chance to update everyone on the exciting things coming to the Rec Center.

First, let me tell you this is a busy time for our staff. As your Parks and Rec Director, I’ve hired eight new staff members, who are being asked to hit the ground running. These talented professionals will oversee management, programs and student activities at the Rec Center. Some of them just started the week of Christmas, so there is sure to be a learning curve. Make sure to stop in, introduce yourself and make them feel welcome!

Secondly, we assume responsibility of the Rec Center with a definite set of priorities.
Those include:

• Ensuring safety of participants in our programs
I have worked in this space for 22 years in various municipalities. From my experience, I can identify areas where safety measures can be improved at Tucker Rec. I guarantee you the things that need fixing can and will be done quickly.

• Building and maintaining relationships
We need to establish a connection with our participants – both kids and parents. We want parents to be engaged through volunteer opportunities and for them to feel comfortable offering any feedback they have for management of the Rec Center.

• Cleaning and organizing the space
Tucker Rec is a big place. We are going through systematically, trying to figure out what we have in storage. Is it something we need to run the facility or is it something that’s been sitting in a closet for years gathering dust? A perfect example: there is a closet in the gymnastics area that we can’t even open. It’s locked up with no key. We don’t know what’s inside, but we sure plan to find out and put that space to good use.

• Reestablishing the after-school program through coordination with existing groups
There are so many activities happening at Tucker Rec. From dance to karate to pottery, why can’t we introduce some of these skills to our students? I’ve always found that children thrive in a well-rounded environment and that’s what we intend to create.

 Building maintenance
Friends of Tucker Rec have already planned to do some much-needed painting on January 15. In addition, we are looking to fix and secure our windows, address our HVAC issues and work on any other infrastructure needs that may exist at the Rec Center.This is such an exciting – and hectic – time. I invite you to visit Tucker Rec, whether you’re a frequent program participant or you haven’t been in the building for years. I promise you’ll see a noticeable difference in the level of service and care from Day One.

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