David Moilanen, director of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA), announced he will be retiring effective Friday, Aug. 3.
“It was a bit earlier than I had anticipated,” Moilanen said of his retirement.
In addition to “a number of changes at work” that made it more stressful, Moilanen said he also wanted to spend more time helping his 23-year-old son recover from a serious injury he suffered three years ago.
“He had a bit of a relapse this late winter/early spring which required some attention,” Moilenan said. “I wanted to be with him more and help him get healthier.”
Moilanen’s wife is also retiring this year.
“We decided, ‘What the heck, let’s (retire) together,’” Moilanen explained.
He said his post-retirement plans include traveling the country and camping, along with trips to Hawaii and Alaska.
Moilanen said he also is looking into working part-time as a certified personal trainer.
He had worked for the HCMA for 38 years.
After receiving his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Michigan and completing a year of law school, Moilanen realized he wanted to work outdoors. He began working part-time as a golf course maintenance worker at Kensington Metropark in Milford in 1974 while he returned to the University of Michigan for his bachelor’s degree in natural resources.
Since then, he has worked as a part-time interpreter at the Kensington Nature Center, was hired full-time in 1980 as the farm manager at Kensington’s Farm Center, became the HCMA’s public relations/information officer in 1991, was appointed the HCMA’s chief of interpretive services and public relations in 1999, and became deputy director in 2006.
In October 2010, Moilanen took over as director for Jayne Miller, who resigned her post in September 2010, the day after the HCMA board disagreed with her proposed plan to reorganize and downsize the parks system due to what was an expected $10-million loss in tax revenue in the coming years.
Moilanen is a member of the National Association for Interpretation, the National Recreation and Parks Association, Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association.
According to HCMA Deputy Director Greg Almas, the HCMA does not yet have a replacement for Moilanen, and there is no set timeframe for replacing him.
“First they have to discuss the selection process, and they haven’t done that yet,” said Almas, who will be filling in as the interim director as the HCMA determines how to go about hiring a new director.
The HCMA, created in 1940, oversees a regional park system with 13 metroparks covering almost 25,000 acres in five counties within the Huron and Clinton River watersheds, including Oakland County.
The Metroparks budget for 2011 is $73.5 million. The parks system, staffed by 224 full-time and up to 800 part-time personnel, is funded by a property tax levy, limited to 0.25 mill (the rate for 2011 is 0.2146 mills), and by revenues from vehicle entry fees and other user fees for various facilities such as golf courses. The system receives about 9 million visitors annually.