Covington hires parks chief

A Burien city official will become Covington's parks and recreation director next month.

Covington has hired Scott Thomas, who helped develop Burien recreational system, as its parks and recreation director.

Thomas will start his new job on July 28.

Thomas was selected from five candidates who participated in a three-phase interview process which concluded with a final interview with city manager Derek Matheson.

“Scott is respected in the parks and recreation field and is an expert at getting grants and building parks, which is exactly what we need in Covington,” Matheson said. “He will be involved in the community and will work well with the City Council, Parks Commission, staff and the public.”

Thomas worked for the last 12 years in Burien. The bulk of his time there was spent planning and developing Burien’s parks and recreational system and facilities. That experience is what Covington was looking for, as city leaders want to focus on finding financial grants and then developing a long-term plan for development of parks and recreation, including development of the 180th Street/240th Avenue Southeast park site. The city is in the early stages of planning for that site.

Thomas has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration and policy analysis from the University of Washington.

To work in Covington “is such a great community,” he said. “It is completely heartfelt when I say I am so excited.”