Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Commission backs county government reorganization plan

BROOKSVILLE — County Administrator David Hamilton's plan to shape Hernando County government around fewer top managers received unanimous approval from the County Commission on Tuesday.

The commissioners approved an organizational structure designed to improve efficiency and communication by cutting the number of government divisions to eight from 24.

More efficient operations are expected to trim costs. Additional savings, estimated to be about $500,000 annually, are anticipated when the county offers a voluntary separation agreement to county managers whose jobs are no longer needed under the new structure.

Details of that reorganization are still being developed.

Hamilton's plan is centered around a leadership team of eight division directors representing various county services, plus constitutional officers. During Tuesday's meeting, commissioners insisted that the discussion include all constitutional officers, and they voted to invite all five to the table.

Those officers are Clerk of the Circuit Court Karen Nicolai, Sheriff Richard Nugent, Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek, Tax Collector Juanita Sikes and Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams.

Nugent expressed his interest in participating in a recent e-mail. Nicolai was present at Tuesday's discussion.

"As chief financial officer of the county, it makes a lot of sense to include the clerk in the whole arrangement,'' she said.

Hamilton described how the team would meet every other week to discuss the important issues that lie ahead.

"We call it the leadership team because we believe that leadership is at the top end. It is at the strategic end of the organization,'' Hamilton said. "It allows us not only to be the managers that you expect us to be on a day-to-day basis, but to move beyond that to the future deployment of our resources to the challenges we face not only in our nation, but our county.''

Among the issues that Hamilton said need early attention: the current budget revenue shortfall, downsizing county government and keeping up staff motivation and morale. The list also includes a look at revising impact fees, a limerock road policy, operational options for the county jail and the creation of a strategic plan to develop infrastructure.

The county is expecting a general fund revenue shortfall of $1.6 million for the current year. It also anticipates collecting $1.7 million less than budgeted in impact fees, $1.9 million less in recycling services and solid waste fees, and nearly $1 million less in development services fees.

Commissioner Rose Rocco questioned how the leadership team members felt about the new structure.

With the county growing as big as it has, county government grew with it, said Charles Mixson, who has been tapped to lead the transportation services division. He said it would be nice to return to the atmosphere that existed in a smaller operation 20 years ago.

"This brings it back to have a nice tight group of people to do the work,'' Mixson said.

"I'm also enthusiastic about the structure that's been proposed,'' said Michael McHugh, who is set to lead the new development services division.

"The idea of us working together as a leadership team to discuss these bigger, more global issues that are facing the county hopefully, as Mr. Hamilton indicated, will lead to some good recommendations — maybe a lot of good ideas to bring back to you to improve the county,'' McHugh told the commission.

Commissioners praised Hamilton's reorganization plan as a good first step to help the county deal with reduced revenue and the economic downturn.

County government "grew too big too fast,'' said Commissioner Jim Adkins. "It's a start to something the taxpayers need.''

Commissioner John Druzbick called the new plan "a bold move to finally right-size government.''

"I know this is a long time coming, sir. We could have used this a long time ago,'' said commission Chairman Dave Russell.

The new leadership team will meet for the first time today.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

New county organizational structure

Divisions, leaders and duties

Administrative Services

Larry Jennings

Budget

Clerical

Communications

Purchasing

Technology

Community Services

Jean Rags

Code compliance and animal services

Cooperative Extension Service

Library

Public health coordination

Social services

Veterans

Housing

Development Services

Michael McHugh

Airport

Development and permitting

Economic development

Tourism

Environmental Services

Joe Stapf

Energy

Recycling

Solid waste

Water and wastewater

Fire Rescue Services

Mike Nickerson

Emergency medical services

Fire suppression

Fire prevention

Hazardous materials

Transportation Services

Charles Mixson

Engineering

Fleet

Facilities

Road, bridge and traffic

Mosquito control

Land Services

Ron Pianta

Parks, recreation and waterways

Planning

Public lands

Transportation planning

Public transportation

Staffing Services

Cheryl Marsden

Benefits

Recruitment

Risk management

Staffing

Commission backs county government reorganization plan 01/27/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 6:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Philippines forces make gains in city under siege by ISIS-linked militants

    MARAWI, Philippines — Philippine forces say they now control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago.

  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile

    World

    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.