Longtime parks director leaves for Arizona
by Joel Danoy
Jul 19, 2013 | 2789 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After almost 12 years as a city employee, Rod Buchanan is leaving for Arizona to pursue his passion for parks and recreation.

The 58-year-old has accepted a job as the director of parks and recreation for the town of Gilbert.

His last day with Tracy is July 29.

Buchanan joined the city of Tracy in October 2001 as a part-time parks and community services supervisor and was named to a full-time role in February 2002.

Since then, he’s served as director and deputy director of the parks and community services department.

Buchanan’s most recent position was interim director of public works.

“I don’t really think about things in terms of what I’ve accomplished,” he said Wednesday, July 17. “I’ve enjoyed every single position and all the projects that I’ve worked on, because I worked with team members on staff and members of the community to provide the best services that we thought were possible.”

Buchanan described his time with the city as “very satisfying” and said he was thankful for the opportunity to manage the city’s parks and recreation department.

“It’s a true passion, and parks and rec directors really work hard to improve the quality of life for people in the community,” he said. “I’ve been so fortunate to have so many notable experiences. I’ve been overjoyed every day I’ve come to work here.”

Buchanan mentioned the founding of the Legacy Fields youth sports park and the opening of the Tracy Transit Station as projects he helped organize and accomplish. He was quick to credit those successes to the work of city staff members.

“I’ve been really fortunate to work with such a dedicated staff who were truly committed to providing services for the community that they believed were the absolute best,” he said. “I can’t emphasize that enough. I’ve always been proud of how hard they’ve worked, and I know we’ve done some excellent things for the city.”

Buchanan described Gilbert — a town of about 212,000 people — as having “unique challenges” presented by several town projects during the next eight to 10 years.

“It’s an exciting time in that community, and I’m looking forward to being part of that,” Buchanan said.

David C. Ferguson, the assistant public works director for the city of Oakland, was recently hired as the new public works director. He was chosen from more than 70 applicants and begins work Aug. 12.

  • Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or jdanoy@tracypress.com.
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