Palm Springs Parks and Rec. Director Retires After Nearly 40 Years of Service

Palm Springs Parks and Rec. Director Retires After Nearly 40 Years of Service

Max Rodriguez

For nearly 40 years, Vicki Oltean devoted her career to public service, in her latest role she oversaw a department of Palm Springs that brings lots of joy to its resident.

Oltean is the director of the city’s parks and recreation, a pool, skatepark and many municipal parks make up her office.

Oltean said, “That’s why you’re here for, you’re here for people to use the facilities and have a good time.”

It was 1980 and Oltean had just served in the United States Army, she was looking for her next career move in the desert. The sports coordinator of the city at the time passed away in a car accident, Oltean filled the opening.

Oltean said, “I ran the sports program in the military and they called me in and asked me, we had a long conversation, and he offered me the job on the spot, I started the job two weeks later.”

It is no surprise one of her proudest memories with the city involved sports. In 1994 Oltean brought a national softball tournament to Palm Springs.

NO SURPRISE ONE OF HER PROUDEST MEMORIES IN THE JOB INVOLVES SPORTS… IN 1994 VICKI BROUGHT A NATIONAL SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT TO PALM SPRINGS.

She said, “When you’re hosting one of the premier national tournaments for the United States Governing Body of Softball, it’s a big honor.”

Oltean is not the type to indulge in her accomplishments, friend and colleague, Sig Craig did not let her forget about the relentless work she did in order to install the desert’s only ADA compliant playground.

Craig said, “I am so proud of what she did in this park because this is now a template for the other parks in the city.”

On her last day as the director of parks and recreation, Oltean spends it chatting with old friends, her soon to be former employees and the community she enjoys.

Oltean said, “I have friends who are involved in softball organizations and talked to me about coming on board and doing some things with them.”

Oltean’s mark in the city will be felt for generations to come.