Politics & Government

As Metro Parks Tacoma chief retires, a longtime staffer takes the reins

Shon Sylvia
Shon Sylvia Courtesy of Metro Parks

As Metro Parks Tacoma says goodbye to its leader of the past 17 years, a familiar face has taken the helm.

Shon Sylvia, who has worked in management roles at the park district for nearly 20 years, began as interim executive director Saturday. He replaces Jack C. Wilson, who came to Tacoma in August 1999 from the Cincinnati Parks Department. Wilson announced his retirement earlier this year. His last day was Friday.

The board of park commissioners will consider appointing Sylvia as the park district’s permanent executive director in December, according to a Sept. 27 board memo. Recently, Sylvia has worked as assistant executive director and as director of recreation and community services.

“Shon has a rare leadership style that balances outside-the-box thinking backed by analytical, data-driven decision-making. And he’s proved his passion for parks and recreation — and the greater community — through the many initiatives he has championed throughout his career at Metro Parks,” said board president Erik Hanberg in a memo announcing Sylvia’s appointment.

Sylvia will be paid a base salary of $195,000 per year and will receive a retirement contribution equal to 8.21 percent of his base salary, or $16,000, according to a memo. He will accrue 23 hours per month of vacation leave.

Wilson’s annual salary was $219,828, and his deferred compensation was $17,000 per year. Wilson accrued 26.6 hours of vacation per month, said a Metro Parks spokesman.