Emerald Isle hires former commissioner Candace Dooley as parks and recreation director | News

EMERALD ISLE — Two days after she resigned her post as an Emerald Isle commissioner, Candace Dooley was named director of the town’s parks and recreation department.

In a new release Friday, town officials said she will start work on Monday, May 16.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected as the Director of Parks and Recreation,” Ms. Dooley said in the release. “I have a great passion for this community and look forward to serving Emerald Isle in my new role.”

She fills the vacancy left by the April 15 retirement of Alesia Sanderson, who had worked as director of the department for many years and had worked for the town for a total of 32 years.

Ms. Dooley holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business. For the past eight years, she has served as the director of the Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, raising a total of $270,000 for the Town of Emerald Isle and other local charities. 

She had been a town commissioner since 2015.

Ms. Dooley has small business experience, as the owner of Star Fish Events, a marketing and events company. 

She also has 12 years of direct managerial experience overseeing a budget exceeding $2.2 million and supervising 150 people, according to the release.

“Her overall understanding of municipal government, finance, and general town operations will be extremely beneficial,” town officials said in the news release Friday.

The town received numerous qualified applicants for this vacancy, according to the release.

“Alesia Sanderson served Emerald Isle with such enthusiasm and compassion that recruiting the next parks and recreation director was a daunting task,” Town Manager Matt Zapp said in the release.

 “As a volunteer, Candace Dooley produced amazing results for the town … via her role on the town board and as the chairperson of the Marathon Committee. We are confident she will hit the ground running and continue the exceptional work of the parks department.”

After her resignation as a commissioner Wednesday night, Ms. Dooley said only that she was stepping down to pursue “other professional opportunities.”

When Ms. Sanderson retired, the town said the salary range for her replacement would be $57,798-$85,541, depending upon qualifications and experience. Ms. Dooley’s salary is $62,500, Mr. Zapp said Saturday morning. Ms. Sanderson’s salary had been slightly more than $83,000.

The department oversees two regional beach accesses, each with more than 160 parking spaces, plus numerous smaller beach accesses and parks.

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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