The City of Taneytown will have a new director of parks and recreation in early 2020 — Lorena Vaccare, who currently works for the Town of Hampstead, will start in the position on Jan. 13.
“We were very pleased, those of us on the interview committee, with her municipal experience, which extends into parks a little bit over in Hampstead,” said Taneytown Mayor Bradley Wantz.
Vaccare, who has been with Hampstead since 2011, is that municipality’s assistant zoning administrator.
“I have planning and zoning experience (which comes in handy for park development), lots of event planning experience, and am passionate about the outdoors and nature — all of which drew me to the position,” Vaccare said via email. “I have lots of ideas and I hope to secure as much grant funding as possible to supplement the city’s funds for improvement purposes.”
[ Taneytown hiring new director of parks and recreation ]
That municipal government experience, as well as Vaccare’s creative ideas for Taneytown’s parks are what led Taneytown Councilman Darryl Hale to support her for the role.
“We have lots of park land in Taneytown, beautiful parks. But we need them to be more than that, we need them to be recreation for all age groups in our city,” he said. “We need to be doing more recreational things as well. Not everybody plays a sport and that’s fine, and those are the people are are trying to find activities for.”
He would like to see activities in addition to rec team sports, Hale said, things such as yoga or 5K races.
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Vaccare will be replacing outgoing parks director Bob Mitchell, who, as a former police officer, is now taking a position with the Taneytown Police Department.
“Thanks to his work, there are already some great developments in the pipeline,” Vaccare noted in an email. “I’m excited for this opportunity to serve Taneytown in the capacity of parks and recreation director, and I hope to imbue that excitement in everyone who enjoys the community’s parks.”
Vaccare’s last day at the Town of Hampstead will be Dec. 27.
City manager question
As Vaccare prepares to take charge of parks and recreation in Taneytown, it’s not yet clear who will fill the city manager position on a permanent basis.
City Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer James Wieprecht has been serving as acting city manager since October, 2018, when former City Manager Henry Heine died after a battle with cancer.
On Dec. 4, at a closed meeting, Wantz suggested a candidate for the permanent role.
“I made a nomination, but it was declined by council,” Wantz said. “It was an outside candidate and the council voted three to two to decline. That’s all I can tell you at this point.”