News Release 12-004
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Virginia Painter (360) 902-8562
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service:
State Parks’ reductions bring about change in management at Fort Worden State Park
Jan. 6, 2012 –
Due to agency-wide budget and staffing reductions, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announces a change in managers at Fort Worden State Park.
Kate Burke, who has served as manager at Fort Worden since 2002, will wrap up her management duties later this month, and new manager Allison Alderman will assume the Fort Worden area parks manager role effective February 1.
Alderman’s position as Region Operations Manager in the State Parks Northwest Region Office was eliminated as part of an agency-wide cost reduction. The agency must reduce its expenditures by $11 million in order to balance its budget and operate above the cash reserve minimum set by the state Office of Financial Management. According to state personnel system rules, when a staff position is eliminated, the person in the position has tenure rights to certain other positions.
Alderman has been with State Parks for 21 years, most recently serving in the Region Operations Manager role.
“We have been very fortunate to have Kate’s excellent leadership in managing Fort Worden for the past several years,” said Don Hoch, agency director. “We also are very fortunate to have Allison on hand to take the next watch at Fort Worden State Park.”
Hoch said Burke has been especially successful in building relationships and partnerships between Fort Worden and the surrounding community,
Burke holds a degree in business administration and management. Her career in parks and recreation began in 1981 with the metroparks system of Lake Metroparks, Ohio, and she later worked for a municipal system, Indy Parks and Recreation. Before coming to State Parks, she served as part of the PROS Consulting team, consulting and completing planning projects with parks and recreation agencies around the country.
During her career at State Parks, Burke has worked closely with the park’s advisory committee in creating ties with the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County, even serving on the Chamber of Commerce as a board member and as president. She led a thorough public process to create a Lifelong Learning Center Plan for the park that includes partnerships with area colleges. She has also developed a multitude of partnerships with community organizations, local governments and citizens, which have fostered an active community involvement in Fort Worden area parks. In addition, Burke served on the board of the Jefferson County Land Trust, participated as an ex-officio member of the Fort Worden Advisory Committee and the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, and was an advisory member of the Centrum Foundation Board and the City of Port Townsend Shoreline Master Planning group.
“I’m devastated by this harsh process and realization in knowing this is how my career will end at Fort Worden State Park,” said Burke. “I put my heart and soul into the success of the Fort Worden as well as Fort Townsend and Rothschild House. I empathize with the other State Parks employees that are going through the same process.”
Alderman is a Certified Public Manager whose formal education is primarily in management. She is a graduate of the State Parks Law Enforcement Academy. In her management role at the Northwest Region Office, she has for many years managed budgets and human resources and supervised half of the Northwest Region’s parks, including large parks such as Deception Pass, Fort Flagler and Moran state parks, including managing budget and human resources. She served on the Cama Beach Advisory Committee and planning team and later supervised that park.
“I love Fort Worden, and I love Port Townsend,” Alderman said. “I don’t like getting the position in this manner; I don’t like displacing Kate. But I am excited to be able to continue contributing to State Parks’ success. Fort Worden is a very special place with many dedicated stakeholders, and I will do my best there.”
The budget reductions underway at State Parks are happening as the result of a gap between revenue and expenditures in the current 2011-13 budget. The agency’s funding base is transitioning from General Fund tax support to a user-pay model, with fees from traditional sources such as camping in addition to revenue from the new Discover Pass. In the past two budget cycles, State Parks’ General Fund tax revenue support has decreased from 66 percent of total funding in 2007-09 to 30 percent of total funding in 2009-11 and down to 12 percent total funding in the current budget. Discover Pass revenues have not yet grown to meet projected revenue levels.