Mount Pleasant, TX, August 2, 2023… Director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Mount Pleasant Ricky Harris has been promoted to Assistant City Manager, where he will assist City Manager Ed Thatcher in running the day-to-day business of the city departments and personnel, oversee special projects and carry out policy directions set by the City Council. At this time, he will also continue to direct the Parks & Recreation Department.
Harris joined the City of Mount Pleasant as Parks and Recreation Director in August 2020. As director, he has been responsible for planning, coordinating and managing all parks and recreation operations and activities, including the divisions of Parks Maintenance, the Civic Center, Main Street and Special Events.
During this time, he has also had oversight of the opening of the Mount Pleasant Sports Complex and the construction and opening of the new Pilgrim’s Community Center in Oaklawn Park.
“Ricky has been an excellent Parks and Recreation Director,” said Thatcher. “He and his team have improved all parks in Mount Pleasant. At the same time, Ricky has assisted me by taking on responsibilities beyond the scope of his duties under Parks and Recreation.”
“We have many great projects and work underway, and for some time, I have felt the need for an Assistant City Manager to ensure that we as a staff team manage it all effectively and efficiently,” said Thatcher. “It was evident that we had the ideal candidate for this new position on board already, and it’s always good to be able to promote from within the organization.”
“Ricky brings proven expertise, and a servant’s heart for our community, our citizens and our staff.”
Harris, a U.S. Army veteran, has extensive municipal experience that includes managing Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), building partnerships with community stakeholders, implementing Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plans, all while running a tight ship when it comes to maintenance and staffing.
He served as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Commerce from 2009 to 2016, where he helped establish the City as a destination for statewide baseball and softball tournaments, netted multiple Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Small Community Grants, and organized an extensive series of special events and other community services.
As Parks and Recreation Operations Manager for the City of Rowlett from 2016 to 2019, Harris was responsible for 40 full-time employees and 75 part-time employees across three divisions including the City’s water park. He was a member of the leadership team that planned and completed 10 CIP projects resulting in $4 million in park upgrades, and he met the City Council’s mandated annual goal of making the water park and community center financially self-sustainable.
A graduate of Texas A & M University-Commerce, Harris holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP), a Certified Pool/Spa Operator (CPO) and holds TCEQ Landscape Irrigation and Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicator licenses. He is a member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS), received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Spirit of Dedication Award in 2014.
Harris is enrolled in the Texas Certified Public Manager Program at Texas State University that will begin in January 2024.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to expand my role with the City and as a result, expand Mr. Thatcher’s time to focus on all of the projects underway and on the radar,” said Harris. “We have a great staff and community to serve together.