Cincinnati Parks Director Resigns, Gets Severance Package

Oct 1, 2019

Updated: 5:00 p.m.

The Cincinnati Park Board met Tuesday afternoon and accepted the resignation of Parks Director Wade Walcutt after a little more than two years on the job.  The Board also approved a severance package for him.

Walcutt will be paid be $39,528.88 for leaving his job.  He'll also get paid for 138.6 hours of accumulated vacation time, and for 48 hours of sick leave. The city will also pay for his health insurance through Oct. 31.

Severance packages are unusual when an employee resigns by his or her own decision.

"The city and Walcutt desire a mutually amicable resolution of any (and) all claims and disputes regarding Walcutt's separation from his employment with the city," from the agreement.

A Parks department spokesman provided a copy of the severance agreement, but didn't provide any information on why the park board wanted to dismiss Walcutt.

Walcutt submitted a two-paragraph resignation letter to the Board of Park Commissioners Tuesday.

"It's with mixed emotions I submit my resignation, effective October 2, 2019," Walcutt wrote. "I'm in awe of the opportunities and experiences I've had in Cincinnati and how much we've changed and accomplished."

Walcutt did not give any specific reasons for his decision.

"This is a very special place; however, it's the right time and I'm excited to move forward to take advantage of another professional opportunity which will greatly benefit my family and myself," he wrote.

Walcutt was hired in May 2017 to replace long-time Parks Director Willie Carden, who retired.

Prior to leading the Cincinnati Parks, Walcutt was the director of parks and recreation in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Walcutt has a degree in recreation management from Ohio University and previous experience in Columbus and Westerville.

The Park Board has named Kara Kish as interim director, effective immediately. She has served as deputy director since May.