Starting next month, the town will have a new director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Pamela Gery, who has led the North Branford parks department for the last 15 years.

Gery, who started her career as Beach Front director for the town of Westbrook, said she is looking forward to returning to a coastal town to manage beaches and to tackling the redevelopment of the recently acquired parcel at 4 Short Lane to be incorporated into Weed Beach Park.

"I've seen the property and there are a lot of ideas and suggestions and I'm excited to be part of the solution," Gery said this week.

In North Branford, Gery said her major responsibility was expanding the role of the parks department and redeveloping a former town hall into a new senior center. A few years ago, she had a key part in moving the center into a converted school, she said.

"I started out here in North Branford in one small historical building," Gery said. "I was vital in the development and reuse of the town hall and made it into the first community center here in North Branford. That was a wonderful thing."

The town's Board of Selectmen interviewed four candidates for the position.

"Pam's leadership, creativity and strategic competence will be a great benefit to the town of Darien and the Parks and Recreation Commission," First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said. "Her skills will be an excellent complement to our exceptional Parks and Recreation staff."

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Parks and Recreation Commission Chairwoman Mary Flynn also endorsed Gery's hire.

"Ms. Gery comes to Darien at an exciting time, when the commission is beginning its work on developing the Short Lane Property at Weed Beach and also identifying our goals for the next decade," Flynn said.

"Her experience and expertise will be invaluable to the department and to the commission and we look forward to her arrival."