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.