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”It is with sadness and pride that I announce that Deputy City Manager/Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services Joe McRae is leaving the City to become the Director of Parks and Recreation in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  McRae’s last day with us with be Friday September 11. 

“Joe McRae has served the City of Evanston with distinction since 2008 when he started as the Assistant to the City Manager.  In 2010, he was asked to take on a new assignment: the creation of a 3-1-1 system for Evanston.  During the next year, he developed this service that has become the backbone of the City’s community relations and customer service program.  His twelve month project creating the system has been heralded nationwide as a model for starting a 3-1-1 service.  Joe once again took on a new project in 2013, when he was appointed Interim Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services.  This interim assignment transitioned to a permanent job change in November, 2013. 

“During Joe’s time at Parks and Rec., he has lead a process to transform and reinvigorate a great department to become a truly outstanding operation serving the needs of all Evanston residents.  The Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is in an excellent position to continue its growth as one of the premier departments in the nation. 

“This change for Joe comes one week after the birth of his first child and allows Joe and his wife Brandi to raise their daughter Laila back home in the Cleveland area with family and friends. 

“Joe McRae has been a leader and role model in the Evanston community.  His intelligence, humor and compassion will be greatly missed.  The City Council will recognize Joe’s service to the community at its August 31meeting. 

“Assistant Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services Bob Dorneker will serve as Interim Department Director beginning on September 12.  The City will begin a national recruitment for the next Director immediately with the expectation of filling the position by the end of the year.  

“Please join me in congratulating Joe on this new chapter in his life and thanking him for his years of dedicated service to the City of Evanston.”