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City parks director leaving
to take job with the county

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

A job offer to expand his career opportunities in the parks department field wasn't passed up by Justin Stuart when approached by Brian Nowotny, director of Platte County Parks and Recreation.

Stuart last week submitted his resignation as parks director for the City of Platte City, saying he'll leave to take a job with the county's parks and rec department.

Stuart, who has been with Platte City for 1½ years, was recently asked to come aboard as a park planner with the county's parks department.

"I feel this is a good opportunity for me, " said Stuart. "When I was offered the job by Brian (Nowotny) I felt it wasn't one I could pass up.

"Since the county currently has only one park, the position will provide me the opportunity to be included in the building of several parks through the 10-year sales tax plan, which really tweaked my interest with the job."

As a park planner, Stuart will be working with engineers in the development of parks plans, as well as working with user groups to determine the needs and wants for the facilities they will be putting together.

"Justin will play a key role in the parks development process of many of the parks master plan projects," stated Nowotny. "We're looking forward to him coming to work for the county parks and recreation department. He'll be a great asset for us."

For Stuart, he looks forward to continue to build on the relationships he has built in the parks area during his tenure with the City of Platte City.

"I like working with the different partnerships and seeing what the needs and wants are within the community. In this position, I'll be able to use those partnerships I've already established to build even greater relationships," said Stuart.

"It was a tough decision for me to make because of the relationships that have been built here in Platte City."

Stuart stated he also looks forward to working with the outreach grant provided by the county's parks and recreation department. The county-sponsored program provides $200,000 in funding for different groups that look to make parks and recreation improvements within Platte County.

Anticipation of the career move also brings on an awareness of challenges Stuart will face in the new position.

"Sure there will be challenges and some will be different types of challenges while others will be same as the job now," explained Stuart. "But one of the reasons I took the job is to take those challenges and learn with them."

While Stuart will set out to explore his new career horizon with the Platte County Parks and Recreation Department, he feels the Platte City Parks Department has gained many improvements over the past years.

Stewart highlighted some of Platte City's Parks Department projects including new filters at the pool, the success of the Fourth of July celebration, the improvements made at Riverview Park which has enabled the use of the soccer fields for games, and the use of the park for cross country meets this past year, both of which expanded the park's exposure.

"Overall, I feel the parks department with the City of Platte City has grown and improved," said Stuart.

"I've been really happy with the opportunity I've had here in Platte City and the jobs we've accomplished."