Longtime Parks and Recreation Director Cassie Walter has resigned her post with the city effective Dec. 17, citing both professional and personal reasons.
Walter began her service with Malibu in 1994 and is credited with initiating the city’s parks and recreation programs. Over the years, the staff has grown to five full-time employees with several employees working part-time and through contracts. During Walter’s tenure, the city also undertook the creation of major recreation facilities on a joint-venture basis with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, including the community swimming pool, additional tennis courts, and baseball and soccer fields at Malibu High School.
Walter also coordinated the transfer of ownership of Charmlee Regional Park from the county of Los Angeles to the city of Malibu and negotiated the current lease agreement with the state Parks and Recreation Department by which Malibu operates Bluffs Park.
This year’s Little League season was arguably Walter’s biggest challenge, facing a string of glitches in the renovation of the ball fields at Bluffs Park. Problems with leveling the ground, irrigation and laying sod on the baseball diamonds vexed parents and coaches, and delayed the season opener. Walter faced intense controversy over the project, trying to hold the contractor to the terms of his performance bond while mitigating the frustration of Little League officials.
“Cassie had the unique and difficult responsibility to found a major city department and develop a community recreation program from scratch,” said City Manager Harry Peacock. “That is an accomplishment for which she should take pride and for which the community will always be grateful. We wish her success in her future endeavors, whatever they may be.”