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Middleton is JCPRD's new Planning and Development Manager
POSTED: 04/23/2008
Longtime Johnson County Park and Recreation District Landscape Architect Cliff Middleton has been promoted to Planning and Development Manager.

Middleton officially stepped into his new position on April 14. This follows the promotion of former Planning and Development Manager Bill Maasen to Superintendent of Parks and Golf Courses effective March 24. With the move, Middleton became a member of the District's ten-member Administrative Staff.

"After interviews of both internal and external candidates, it became quite clear that the best candidate was right here already," said Executive Director Michael Meadors. "Cliff’s 21 years as the District’s Landscape Architect provides him with all the knowledge and history to ensure the continued oversight of all District renovations and future developments."

Middleton said pursuing this position seemed like a logical career progression.

"I can continue to have a positive impact on the District’s facilities and parks," he said. "The Planning and Development staff is a great team that I am proud to be associated with. I have spent the last 21 years engaged in the complex issues of developing and renovating our park and recreation facilities."

Middleton anticipates environmental issues will have a major impact on the District's Planning and Development Department in the coming years.

"We will be mandated by both public opinion and government regulation to be more environmentally responsible with our future developments," he said. "We need to evaluate our entire planning, construction, and maintenance processes to lessen the impact on both our natural resources and the resources used to construct our buildings, structures, and facilities."

Resource preservation and restoration is another challenge he identified.

"Our parks are suffering from their popularity," Middleton said. "You can easily see the wear and impacts from high use in many of our parks and facilities. Our challenge will be finding ways to keep our natural areas beautiful and our older recreation facilities safe and inviting on limited budgets."

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Middleton holds a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from Kansas State University. Before coming to the District, he worked for about three years in the planning department of the City of Overland Park, and about two and one-half years with the Olathe Park and Recreation Department. Among his accomplishments during his time with the District is the design of the first phase of development of Kill Creek Park, which opened in November 2001, and his work on a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the District.

Middleton is a registered and licensed Landscape Architect in the state of Kansas and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the National Recreation and Park Association.

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