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New rec. director wants to put program back in kids’ hands


Pickens County's new Parks & Recreation Director Brian Jones

The Pickens County Board of Commissioners recently announced that Pickens native Brian Jones has been hired as the new parks and recreation director.
    Jones, who will leave his position as Gilmer County Planning & Development Director this week, says he wants to make the programs more kid-oriented, and invite new ideas from the community to expand recreation offerings beyond regular sports programs such as basketball and baseball.

    “My vision is to put it back in the kids’ hands,” Jones said, who also wants to foster more of a positive attitude in the department, and among parents and children who participate. “I think it got to a point where the parents were trying to live vicariously through their kids. I want it to be more kid-oriented and not have the kids berated if they mess up. If they mess up, we can just learn from the mistake and try again.”
    Jones said he would like to develop more open lines of communication between the department and parents and other members of the community, and he asks that anyone with a good idea give him a call after his first day on Thursday, March 28.   
    “I want to open the center up to more young adults, more seniors and others in the community,” he said. “I’m still formulating ideas, but I’m open to suggestions. I want the citizens to know that they can come to me with ideas. I want to be as available as possible and not have this be a closed-loop department. I will pass the ideas on to my superiors and we will go from there.”
    Jones was born and raised in Pickens County and is married with a five-year-old son. He received a B.A. in Criminal Justice/Public Administration at Cumberland University where he played football for four years. Jones then went on to receive an M.A. in Public Administration from Kennesaw State University.
    “I always really wanted to teach and coach at high school, and I actually tried to go through the back door to get teaching certification that way,” he said. “I ended up getting really close, but eventually got the job as zoning administrator. I have always really been into sports though.”
    Jones was employed as a zoning administrator in the Gilmer County Planning & Development Department from 2005 – 2009 before being awarded the position as Gilmer County Planning & Development Director in 2009.
    Jones is replacing the former recreation direction Melinda Goss, who was let go in late 2012.


Becky Bruce
0 #1 Becky Bruce 2013-03-27 13:36
Brian, I would like to congradulate you and wish you all the best. I hope that the parents and community will support you and give you the chance that this county needs to carry this recreation department into the future. We need this rec department to be very successful to help form and shape our kids into to young adults for the future of our middle school and high school programs. By this I mean not only for sports but to be good citizens and students. I think you will do a great job... Good Luck...
+2 #2 Tommy 2013-03-30 09:28
Brian.....I wonder if Pickens County would be interested in planning, designing and installing a Disc Golf Course in the area. It is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the country. It is cost effective too. It is designed for everyone to play and is a great way to get some walking exercise. Great sport for the entire family. There is a course in Blairsville and I believe there is also a course at the Young Harris College. Just curious?
+2 #3 Tommy 2013-03-31 10:23
Good luck Brian in your new position. I 'm sure you have heard of Disc Golf and I think it would be a great addition to the recreation opportunities in Pickens County. It is fun for any age group and provides a great exercise and fitness opportunity. There are other courses in Young Harris, Blairsville and many other towns and parks in Georgia. For more information check
I would be glad to help in any way! Congratulations !
0 #4 Joanne 2013-04-10 10:36
Congratulations Brian!!! I enjoyed working with you over the last fews years and always appreciated the professional services you provided in your position in Gilmer County.
Pickens County is fortunate to add you to their great team of progressive government employee's.

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