When the City of Renton made an organizational change a few years ago, city departments were pooled to create new sections.
One such area of responsibility was the community services division, the largest within the city. For the first time in the city’s history, one person would be in charge of the facilities department, golf course, museum, recreation and neighborhoods, parks and trails, parks planning and natural resources, and human services.
Parks and Rec’s loveable protagonist Leslie Knope wasn’t available, so that person naturally had to be Kelly Beymer.
Beymer had begun her work in government as golf course director of Renton-based, city-owned Maplewood Golf Course. She soon assumed responsibility of all park maintenance, before stepping into her current role.
Beymer’s impact as community services administrator goes beyond measure, as she oversees the leases of city buildings and helps maintain more than 860,000 square feet of property. Additionally, Beymer oversees all 32 city parks, more than 12 miles of trails running throughout the city, the farmers market, all social services, as well as activities in the senior and community centers.
Beymer said she has a deep appreciation for her work and her division.
“I love the variety of what we do,” Beymer said. “Through my career, I’ve learned a lot about being a team member, being a support. The staff will joke about this, but I hate saying I’m the boss. I’m here to support them. “
Though the hours can be demanding, Beymer said one thing, above all others, makes it worth it.
“Because of what we do and the type of work we do, we’re working evenings, weekends, and holidays, because we are in these things for the community,” she said.
Turn the page to see a day in the life of this parks-loving professional.
6:30 a.m. // My day starts with a quick nine holes of golf, also known as “Turf Check,” at the city-owned and -managed Maplewood Golf Course. I love golf, so it’s a bit of business and a lot of pleasure.
8:30 a.m. // I do a quick check-in on the status of the Family First Community Center project, a collaboration between former Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin Jr., Renton School District, HealthPoint, and the City.
9 a.m. // Next, I head to my bimonthly one-on-one check-in meeting with Renton Mayor Denis Law.
10 a.m. // I stop by to see our housing repair coordinator and technicians before they head out for some healthy housing assessments.
10:30 a.m. // I have my check-in meeting with the parks planning division and get an update on the citywide park bond projects, like the renovation of the dock at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.
11:30 a.m. // Safety is our No. 1 priority — I meet up with our parks maintenance group and do a quick walk-through as our team performs safety checks and repairs on all playground equipment.
12:30 p.m. // I had the honor of being one of the emcees for the city staff-appreciation picnic. We have such amazing people working for the city; it’s great to take the time to honor and appreciate them.
1:30 p.m. // I pop into the Renton History Museum to check in on its newest exhibit, Sparkle, an installation from UW Museology graduate students who explore how glamour came to the West.
2 p.m. // Our facilities division does so much work for our city buildings. I meet with Facilities Director Jeff Minisci to go over plans for Renton City Hall’s fourth-floor renovations.
3:30 p.m. // I have the opportunity to visit our after-school STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, Math) Team program, a program that provides after-school programming.
5:15 p.m. // Finally, I stop at the Renton Community Center to watch as our community, recreation, and neighborhoods team hosts a community forum to gather input on future programming.
6:30 p.m. // I enjoy any time I can spend outside, and I like to finish my day with a hike on the trails around Tiger or Squak mountains. It’s a great way to clear my head from the day.