August 2007

New County Parks Director At Helm

Board Selects Cardin To Plan For Growth

After 15 successful years at the helm, William Scalzo has stepped down as the director for the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. “Bill is an exceptional leader and has done a great job overseeing the largest regional park system in the United States.  We were delighted that he was given the opportunity to mentor his successor,” stated Chairman Fulton Brock, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

His replacement R.J. Cardin officially stepped into the director position at the beginning of July. Cardin, who had originally been hired in 2006 as the assistant director for the Parks and Recreation Department, had been charged with long-range strategic and park master planning, park operations, capital-improvement planning, policy development, and programming.

“R.J.’s track record speaks for itself. With 23 years of parks and recreation experience, and an extensive management and leadership background, he was by far the most qualified candidate for the job. Over the past year, he has proven that he is up to the challenge and that he has the vision and the foresight to take the department to the next level.

“The board and I feel confident turning the reigns over to R.J.,” stated Scalzo. Cardin, a former deputy director for the City of Glendale’s Parks and Recreation Department, also has a Masters of Science in Recreation Management and Tourism, is acting chair for the Arizona Parks and Recreation Legislative Committee, and is a part-time faculty member for Arizona State University.

“I look forward to this opportunity,” stated Cardin. “While meeting the needs of Maricopa County’s ever-expanding population can prove challenging at times, the department is in the process of developing a strategic system master plan that will guide the county’s park system into the future.

“My goal is to ensure that the county’s park system remains one of the finest in the United States while taking it to the next level,” Cardin added.

Scalzo will continue in his current role as the assistant county manager until he formally retires in December. To learn more about the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department, visit