Mission hires new directors of parks and recreation, public works

The city of Mission has hired Celia Duran (left) as the new public works director and Penn Almoney as the new parks and recreation director.

The city of Mission has hired two new department heads in parks and recreation and public works.

Penn Almoney is the city’s new parks and recreation director. Celia Duran is the new public works director. City Administrator Laura Smith introduced the two new staff members at the city council meeting Wednesday, during which the council unanimously approved their appointments.

Almoney has worked in parks and recreation since 2000 and has served in the cities of Provo and Springville in Utah. While in Springville, he managed the construction and operations of a new $23 million aquatic and fitness facility. His start date is Sept. 12.

“He brings a lot of experience in terms of programming and facility management — both aquatics and fitness,” Smith said.

Duran was previously public works director of the city of Belton, Missouri; before that, she served as deputy public works director and city engineer for Olathe.

“As a professional engineer, Celia brings a skill set that Mission has not had in-house for at least 15 years,” Smith said. “Combined with her experience in planning and managing capital projects, her addition to the team rounds out and complements many of the skills of the existing leadership team.”

Smith, Mayor Ron Appletoft and the city council thanked Public Works Superintendent Brent Morton and Interim Parks and Recreation Director John Vaughn for leading the two city departments during the recruitment and transition periods.

“John and Brent, we couldn’t have done what we’ve done for the last year without the both of you and your commitment to our organization and to really stepping up,” Smith said. “It’s helped me tremendously, so thank you. I sincerely appreciate all that you have done and all that I know you will continue to do.”