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City welcomes new parks & rec director aboard

CARLSBAD — City officials, staff and local residents welcomed Carlsbad’s new Parks and Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine to the team with an intimate meet-and-greet reception April 7.
Dozens of people joined Hazeltine to celebrate his appointment to Parks and Recreation director at Carlsbad’s Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave. He assumed the role as director March 21, following a nationwide search to fill the position.
“Today is very special and something that I’ll always remember,” Hazeltine said. “I’m thrilled to be here; I look forward to meeting you all and spending many years here.”
Prior to joining Carlsbad’s team, Hazeltine had served as Encinitas’ Parks and Recreation director, a post he held since 2004. He has also worked for the city of Oceanside.
“I left a great situation in Encinitas for an incredible situation in Carlsbad,” he said.
Hazeltine was selected to fill the spot based on his many years of experience in North County, Assistant City Manager John Coates said. Coates formerly held the director position before his promotion in July of 2010.
“We looked far and wide to find someone and it’s encouraging to know that in the end, we didn’t have to look very far for the best of the best,” Coates said.
In his new role, Hazeltine will oversee Carlsbad’s diverse recreation programs and services, including children and adult programming, as well as the city’s trail system. The Parks and Recreation department also manages the Carlsbad Senior Center, Monroe Street Pool, community centers and athletic fields.
In a recent city survey, approximately 96 percent of Carlsbad residents said they were satisfied with the city’s efforts to maintain local parks. Nearly 90 percent of residents noted they were pleased with the offered recreational programs and trail maintenance.
“I was absolutely excited to hear that Chris was coming to Carlsbad,” Monroe Pool employee Majka Penner said. “I know how much he can and will bring to our department. I couldn’t be happier.”
Residents were also eager to welcome Hazeltine to the Parks and Recreation department. Hazeltine said he was interested in hearing what the community had to say, and locals used the reception as an opportune time to share comments and concerns with him.