So now Richard Garland, the executive director, has been told by the king (the governing authority) to get out of the banquet hall for a week without pay for undisclosed “interpersonal relationship” difficulties. The same happened back in 2008 when Garland was made to attend a Dale Carnegie course on human relations. Ominously, this time the authority chairman noted this was the final step in a progressive disciplinary policy. One assume this means any next time involves “off with his head.”
Maybe there’s something in the fresh-mown scent of parks grassland that intoxicates as Garland’s longtime predecessor, Bob Saylors, has not known as Mr. Personality either but rather as an empire builder — meaning he always wanted to take over more territory and expand his realm, usually by the sword or palace politics.
Of course, parks while now considered a crown jewel of the community were once its orphaned waif. Some 30 or so years ago, when Greater Rome first appeared on a “best of” place to live listing, the big negative cited was a miserable park system without a realistic budget. Maybe it takes swashbuckling, take-no-prisoners, abrasive leaders like Saylors and Garland to change that. Rome-Floyd sure have a very fine parks/recreation system now although still badly underfunded, which explains the heavy emphasis on fees.
Perhaps Garland can learn to curtsy to power to escape the executioner’s ax, although Saylors never did before retiring in 2005 after 25 years of constantly tilting with and unhorsing opponents. One wonders if the problem here is that it takes different skills to hold an inherited empire together than it does to build one.