USS Arizona Memorial Superintendent Seeks High Turnover
August 11 — The USS Arizona Memorial, overseen by the National Park Service at the site of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and one of the state’s most visited attractions, has its fifth director in less than a year. 12 years.
The parks service announced Tuesday from San Francisco that Tom Leatherman had been selected to serve as the superintendent of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial from October.
Leatherman is the superintendent of four parks in the Oakland region, including Eugene O’Neil National Historic Site, John Muir National Historic Site, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, and Rosie the Riveter / World National Historic Park. War II Home Front.
“With over 30 years of experience, Tom is a seasoned and experienced leader,” NPS Acting Regional Director Cindy Orlando said in a statement. “He is perfect for this position as he has a proven track record in cultivating and promoting successful relationships with partners, including the military and various communities.”
“I am honored to serve as director of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial,” Leatherman said in the statement. “I look forward to working with park staff and partners to honor those whose lives have been lost and to keep the site relevant for future generations for years to come.
The San Francisco-based Parks Service in Interior Regions 8, 9, 10, 12, which includes parks in Hawaii, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and parts of Montana, has been asked Tuesday about the high turnover of USS Arizona superintendents. Memorial.
Regional spokesperson Denise Adamic did not address this issue, but provided a breakdown of leadership changes at the Pearl Harbor Park site.
Jacqueline Ashwell, who held the position for approximately five years, left on May 24, 2020 for an assignment with the National Park Service Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs.
Kathi Palacio was the acting superintendent before Scott Burch accepted the acting assignment in August 2020. He stayed there for nine months, then was replaced on June 20 by Jon Burpee, Adamic said in an email.
“Jon Burpee will remain in this acting role until October, when Tom Leatherman takes over as permanent superintendent. Jon will return to his permanent role as superintendent at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park” in Oregon, said Adamic said.
Within the Parks Department, the Arizona Memorial was never seen as cutting edge work for a superintendent and, rather, is a stepping stone to larger parks and missions.
There have been numerous staff conflicts and budget issues over the years in the park, which sees a huge flow of people in a confined area with relatively small staff. The nonprofit Pacific Historic Parks, which helps the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, has been hit hard financially by COVID-19.
The budget request for the National Park Service for fiscal year 2022 is $ 3.5 billion, an increase of $ 381 million from the level adopted in 2021. Revenues from recreation and other rights Mandatory funding sources provide an additional $ 1.1 billion.
The National Park Service said last month it was proposing a $ 7 parking fee starting in 2023 at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial to support “deferred maintenance and upkeep” of the Arizona memorial as well as on Ford Island at the USS Utah and USS Oklahoma memorials.