Stuart McCarthy, Westport's longtime parks and rec director, leaves for Trumbull job
Updated 11:07 am, Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Stuart McCarthy, the town's parks and recreation director, has decided to retire from the post he's held for more than a quarter-century overseeing management of Westport's public recreational facilities and staff -- and has been hired for a similar post in Trumbull.
McCarthy, 53, joined the Westport Parks and Recreation Department in 1985 and was promoted to the director's job in 1989.
Announcing McCarthy's decision to step down Monday, First Selectman Jim Marpe said in a statement: "I cannot thank Stuart enough for his years of service to the town of Westport, and I wish him every success in his future endeavors. He has left a legacy in the town of Westport that has distinguished our Parks and Recreation Department as second to none.
A short time after Marpe announced that McCarthy was leaving his Westport post, Trumbull First Selectman Timothy Herbst said that McCarthy has agreed to a similar role in that town.
"Westport has a parks and recreation system that is second to none," Herbst said in appointing McCarthy to the newly created job. "Westport also has an outstanding municipal golf course. Stuart's experience and track record in this regard make him the ideal candidate to assume this new position and fully implement the re-organization plan approved by the Trumbull voters in the 2011 Charter Revision. I am confident with Stuart McCarthy at the helm, we will make Trumbull's park system, recreational programming and municipal golf course a shining example for other communities across Connecticut."
McCarthy is expected to transition into his new job by June 1.
Regarding McCarthy's legacy in Westport, Marpe said, "One only needs to look at our parks, our beautiful beaches, our superb public golf course and the quality of our recreational programs to fully appreciate the impact that Stuart has had on Westport.
"As a life-long resident, whose life work has been to make Westport a better place, he has developed a parks and recreation organization that has helped distinguish Westport as a community of choice here in Connecticut," Marpe added.
In the town's announcement of his retirement, McCarthy said, "I have a true passion and love for the town of Westport, and I'm proud of the legacy I am leaving behind ..." Those accomplishments, he said, include:
- Construction of the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, which opened last year.
- Improvements to Longshore Club Park, including the tennis pavilion, swimming pools and golf course renovation and its new course maintenance team.
- The wide range of recreational programs offered to people of all ages;
- The parks and recreation staff he described as "second to none."
McCarthy said he plans to remain on the job to assist with the transition to a new parks and recreation director.
Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Charlie Haberstroh said: "Throughout Stuart's 30 years of service to the town of Westport, he always put the town's interests first in both good and bad times. The citizens of Westport are truly fortunate to have been able to enjoy the parks, beaches and fine recreational facilities under his fine stewardship. We will miss his leadership and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
Marpe said that he and Haberstroh plan to work with commission members to hire a successor to McCarthy.