Kirk Kincannon accomplished much as executive director of the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) and capably shouldered the county’s top administrative job during a transitional period, Board of Supervisors members said Feb. 9.
Kincannon, who will retire this month after 40 years in public service, has led the Park Authority with passion, professionalism, understanding and insight, said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D).
“It’s been Kirk’s good nature, positive attitude [and] sense of humor, at times when it’s been necessary over his career, that I will always remember,” he said.
The board unanimously approved a certificate lauding Kincannon’s service and designated Feb. 12 this year as Kirk Kincannon Day in Fairfax County.
Kincannon has spent more than 17 years with FCPA and during his seven years as executive director helped the agency achieve reaccreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, a process that involved meeting 151 national standards, McKay said.
Under Kincannon’s leadership, FCPA adopted its first-ever agency-wide master plan. The agency also received its fourth gold medal from the National Park and Recreation Association for outstanding management, he said.
Fairfax County voters by large margins passed two park bonds during Kincannon’s tenure as executive director. FCPA also purchased a significant amount of additional acreage, bringing the agency’s total holdings to nearly 24,000 acres, or about 10 percent of the county’s land, McKay said.
FCPA under Kincannon’s leadership focused more on community health, expanded revenue-generating facilities, finished multiple stormwater projects and kicked off the resident-curator program, which lets qualified people live rent-free in county-owned historical properties in exchange for upgrading those sites.
The Board of Supervisors in summer 2017 tapped Kincannon for a challenging temporary assignment: serving as acting county executive following the retirement of Edward Long Jr. During that four-month stint, Kincannon “did a great job and was easy to work with,” said Supervisor Penelope Gross (D-Mason).
Gross lauded Kincannon’s positive approach.
“I have never been aware of a cross word or a negative comment in all of the time that you’ve been with the Park Authority,” she said. “You’ve always seemed to be delighted wherever you are – sort of like ‘bloom where you are planted.’”
Supervisor Rodney Lusk (D-Lee) credited Kincannon with making FCPA facilities in his district, including a spray park, more accessible.
“The beauty of seeing kids out there playing during the summer, it is magnificent,” Lusk said. “Thank you for all that you’ve done to preserve land and to establish more opportunities for both active and passive recreation.”
Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill), who served for two years on the FCPA board during Kincannon’s tenure, said the executive director was an outstanding manager.
“Kirk had it under control – basically a no-controversy, dotting-Is, crossing-Ts, doing it by the book, is what Kirk was doing,” Alcorn said.
Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) thanked Kincannon for some “really productive years,” saying he had done a fine job of balancing different supervisors’ needs and demands.
Foust recalled preparing extensively for a meeting with Kincannon on a proposal he expected would generate resistance, only to be told promptly, “Yeah, we can do that.”
“I saw that we’ve got, like, 45 minutes left of this meeting and I didn’t know what else to say,” Foust said. “He was just so open and cooperative and willing to help.”
Kincannon, a Fairfax County native, also worked for the Park Authority from 1985 to 1995, between stints in other localities in Virginia and Colorado. He thanked supervisors for the recognition and their support over the years.
“We have made such great strides over the last seven years in building our relationship with the community,” he said. “It’s an incredible team and it takes a village to build a great park system in a great county.”
PHOTO: Kirk Kincannon is retiring after serving as executive director of the Fairfax County Park Authority. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)