Frank Donald, Director of the Wilton Parks and Rec Department, walks out of the Wilton Select Board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Donald formally announced his retirement from the role of director, citing his age and the physical demands of the job. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — Frank Donald, long-serving director of the Wilton Parks and Recreation Department, announced his retirement from the department at the Wilton Board of Selectperson meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Donald’s last official day in the role will be on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.

“I just wanted to thank you for the service that you’ve given the town,” Town Manager Maria Greeley stated. “I know I can’t do that justice, but I just wanted to thank you on behalf of the town of Wilton for your dedication to the town and the Parks and Rec Department.”

In December of last year, Donald announced he would be stepping down from full-time to a part-time position, citing his age as the driving factor. He assured members of the public that he would still be around despite the change in hours.

“I’d say it’s been kind of humbling a little bit, because I’ve had tons of people around town get worried that you know, I was thinking about retiring. ‘You can’t leave. You don’t work for the rec department; you are the rec department.’ I hear that a lot,” Donald told the Franklin Journal last year.

Donald and Greeley, who recently took over for former town manager Perry Ellsworth, will be working together in the following weeks putting together an advertisement and begin taking applications for the position.

Donald stated that he wants a smooth transition and to fill the position as quickly as possible to allow his replacement to get settled into the position before the budget process for the town begins next year.


“I’m not going anywhere,” Donald told the board. “I’m a phone call away, and literally less than five minutes from [Kineowatha Park].”

Donald stated that he had mixed emotions about stepping down and that he had been thinking about it for the past few months. “I’m 67 years old, and my body’s telling me I’m every bit of that,” he said.

Donald stated that on Wednesday, Jan. 31 of next year, he will have served in the role for 35 years and he liked going out on a round number. He also requested that he be heavily involved in either the committee to find his replacement or at least speak with them before his departure.

“One of my biggest concerns is that they understand this is not a seven-to-three or nine-to-five type job,” he stated. “Big towns with four or five members, full time staff, [is a] different animal, but here it’s getting out and getting on the grounds and doing the work.”

Donald stated he would still be around in some capacity with the department. “I would certainly be very interested, if it is deemed appropriate, to come back and work under whoever and, you know, mow a field now and again, do a little weed whacking, referee some soccer games or a basketball game and be involved,” he said

Donald stated that Dylan Stefani of the Wilton Parks and Rec Department would be submitting an application for the position, but they are open to hiring outside of the department if a more qualified individual were to apply for the position.


“[Stefani has] some advantages, because he knows a lot of machinery, but who knows who or how many people will apply,” Donald stated. “But if the worst candidate we get is Dylan, we’re going to be in pretty good shape.”

Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri stated that replacing Donald would be “big boots to fill.”

“It’s like the L.L. Bean big boot,” she stated. “This has been your baby for 35 years and you have been the lifeblood of the [Rec Department].”

“It has been a labor of love,” Donald said. “I won’t miss the six o’clock in the morning calls, saying, ‘Hey, I missed my kids’ sign up last night’. There’s lots of parts of the job I’m going to miss tremendously, but there is other parts I won’t miss a bit.”

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