Retirement revealed by budget review

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lewisburg Recreation Director Guy Chambers is retiring in three months, he said when asked about information from the city council's review of its annual budget.

"I'm looking forward to it," Chambers said Thursday of his Sept. 14 retirement. "I'm going to miss the people, but I think I'll be tickled to death because I'll have more time with my grandkids."

Mayor Barbara Woods and Chambers were childhood playmates and classroom classmates. Subsequently, Chambers left Lewisburg to run golf courses in Tennessee, only to return to his hometown.

"He made an amazing difference in our little city course," Woods said. "It was nice, but it wasn't bragable. Now, I'd put it up against any of the country club courses.

"I think he's done an outstanding job," the mayor said when asked about discussion during a recent council meeting held to review the city's spending plans in fiscal year 2011-12 set to start July 1.

Councilman Odie Whitehead Jr. noted Parks and Recreation Department retirements. Long-time department employee Jane Tilford retired this spring. Her duties are being shared by others and Chambers' retirement in the fall will require a decision with regard to department management. Councilmen discussed that issue noting advantages and disadvantages of having one person in charge.

As for a successor for Chambers, "That's a decision that needs to be David's (David Orr) because he's the city manager," the mayor said. "It doesn't need to be me, or the council's decision. I'm sure David will take into account the city's needs and budget and make a good decision."

From 1980-86, Chambers ran the Henry Horton State Park Golf Course and he worked at Pickwick Landing during 1974-80.

"I've been in the golf course business a long time," Chambers said.

At the city's Recreation center off West Commerce Street on Thursday morning, he said, "Adding the building was a challenge. It built by the city in June 2003.

"I've had the pleasure of working with a lot of nice folks at the council, the Rec Center and in the city," Chambers said. "With all the friendships I've made, I'm looking forward to retirement, too.

Sept. 8 will mark the end of his 25th year as manager of Lewisburg's Parks and Recreation Department.

"He will be missed," Aquatics Director Jimmy Stitt said.

Stitt was mentioned by the mayor as among the program directors who've worked closely with Chambers. Others include Brent McMahon who she called "more than a worker at the golf course."

The mayor expressed no preference on a management direction, indicating there's good talent in the department, but that Orr might have a better idea.