After reading of the resignation of Paul Herbert as the Cornelius Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture Department director, I feel a few additional facts need to be addressed.

I have lived in Cornelius for the past 36 years, and after retirement, I was asked by Bob Race, town manager in 2000, to sit on the Parks and Recreation Commission, which, to say the least, was in shambles.

Shortly after, Bob hired (read: stole) Paul from the county Park and Recreation Department, and we immediately realized he didn’t adhere to a 9 a.m.-to-5 p.m. day and worked seven days a week.

With his experience and expertise and the support and encouragement of Chairman Parker Black and commission members Don Morris, Jeff Tarte and Bud Simmons, Paul recruited more active commissioners and converted the shambles into arguably the finest parks and recreation (now PARC) department amongst the neighboring municipalities.

I am now going to be presumptuous and speak on behalf of the citizens who enjoy PARC facilities. Before losing my four-legged friend, we walked Torrence Chapel Park three times daily, taking time to meet parents and children in the play area. For all of these citizens, I say a sincere “Thank you, Paul Herbert” for your 11 years of dedicated service to Cornelius and may your future endeavors be as successful as your service to our community.

– Alwyn Smith, Cornelius