NO.citypark.102619.003.JPG

Bob Becker has announced he is retiring as head of City Park after almost 20 years is photographed in the park in New Orleans, La. Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.

There are a lot of reasons to like Bob Becker, but there are more reasons to thank him.

Becker, 72, is retiring as CEO of City Park after nearly 20 years, including overseeing a $200 million capital improvement project that features a miniature golf course, dog park and a tennis center as well as security guards, an arborist and equipment upgrades.

But times weren’t always as good, and the park bank account wasn’t always as flush.

After Hurricane Katrina, City Park, a statewide jewel, was a mess. It was hard to imagine it coming back to what it was. Today, it’s much better. There’s a sculpture garden expansion, a children’s museum and the festival grounds. A millage, the first local property tax support for the park, was an important Becker effort. For too long, Becker relied on volunteers and a skeleton staff to cut the grass and take care of general maintenance.

City Park Board Chairman Lawrence Katz and the board have agreed with Becker that he’ll stay around through a national search, the development of a succession plan, and a transition period. Becker has led a City Park transformation. Let’s not let all the good work go to waste with a lack of continuity.

“Bob has given his heart and soul to City Park and will be dearly missed by all of us who understand his contributions over the years,” Katz said about Becker. “He has led us through our darkest and now our brightest times. He deserves all of the accolades that will be coming his way.”

We agree. We’re sure to benefit from his contributions for years. We wish Becker the best.