Bob Fonte to Retire as Director

formal photo of Bob

Stark County Park District Director Bob Fonte notified the district’s board of commissioners, at its Nov. 3 meeting, that he will retire effective May 2, 2022.

Fonte has served as director for 26 years and, during his tenure, Stark Parks has grown from four parks and one mile of trail to 15 parks and 120 miles of trails. Also during that time, park district revenue has increased from $750,000 annually to $7 million annually, with an additional average of $2 million annually from grants. The park district has been nationally recognized for its innovation and partnerships. Fonte has been an active community member involved with Ohio Parks & Recreation Association, Leadership Stark County, North Canton Public Library, and Ohio & Erie Canalway Association.

In his resignation letter, Fonte said, “I first want to thank (the board of commissioners) and all of the former board members who have afforded me the opportunity to serve as director of Stark Parks. I can’t thank you enough for this privilege.”

“I also want to thank all the partners that helped Stark Parks grow into one of the premier park districts in the State of Ohio,” Fonte’s letter continued. “Additionally, I want to thank the staff that have been vital in achieving this growth over the past 26 years. They have been essential in moving Stark Parks forward as a valuable asset to the Stark County community.”

At the same meeting, the board of commissioners entered into a contract with the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association to assist with the search for a new director.