After five years of service in the post, Annapolis Director of Recreation and Parks Archie Trader is stepping aside, and a woman who formerly held the same job in Baltimore County is stepping in.
Mayor Gavin Buckley announced Wednesday that Roslyn Johnson is his nominee to run the $5 million recreation and parks program in Maryland’s capital. A 20-year veteran who has held jobs across the Baltimore/Washington area, Johnson most recently helmed the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks. Her departure from that post was announced in November, following news of her strained relationship with advocates for the county’s agriculture sector.
“We have a big vision and a number of new initiatives on the horizon. I’m confident Ms. Johnson can help us deliver,” Buckley said in a press release.
Those initiatives include onboarding the new Carr’s Beach/Elktonia park, overseeing a series of bike trails in various stages and navigating a crowded schedule at the recently renovated Truxtun Park pool.
In addition to briefly holding the top job in Baltimore County, Johnson’s varied resume includes seven years at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Her portfolio there included everything from facilities management to historic homes to the 500-artist Artomatic pop-up festival in Hyattsville. Her resume also lists stints in Baltimore city, Richmond and Washington, D.C. Johnson earned an undergraduate education degree from the University of Maryland and was a 2017 state and local government fellow at Harvard University.
The Morning Sun
“Roslyn’s area of expertise is professionalizing and reorganizing departments and seeking funding, grants and sponsorships to enhance delivery of service,” Annapolis City Manager Michael Mallinoff said. “I know she’ll be a great fit for Annapolis.”
In Baltimore County, Johnson’s tenure overlapped with Mallinoff’s work as the interim director of planning and zoning.
If confirmed by City Council, Johnson will earn $180,429 and begin work in late February or early March. The search was never advertised, Tricia Hopkins, the city’s human resources manager said because that’s not a requirement for “at-will” positions appointed by the mayor.
Trader has held the top job at Annapolis Recreation and Parks since 2017, when he was appointed by former Mayor Mike Pantelides. He will be moving to a newly created civilian position within the Annapolis Police Department, where he will assist with a prisoner reentry program and continue leading Annapolis United, a recreation and mentorship initiative for vulnerable youth.
No reason was given for the switch, except that Buckley wanted to “move the department in a new direction,” according to a city press release.
There were several signs within the past year, however, that Trader’s leadership was under scrutiny. During June budgeting meetings, members of the City Council criticized Trader for attempting to fund several initiatives through budget amendments rather than going through proper channels. City Finance Director Jodee Dickinson also publicly chastised him for hand-selecting an artist to paint a basketball mural, a project that first needed to go out for public bids. Late last year, the council approved a change in command that brought the harbormaster under the umbrella of the mayor’s office, rather than under Recreation and Parks.
“I am grateful for Archie’s service to the city and residents during his time with the Recreation and Parks Department,” Buckley said. “In particular, he’s led the new and successful Annapolis United program. I’m pleased he will continue his leadership in that role.”