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Hernando County considers administrator's management shuffling plan

BROOKSVILLE — The structure of Hernando County's management staff will see big changes if commissioners sign off on a reshuffling plan that the county administrator will give them on Tuesday.

County Administrator David Hamilton, whose mantra of "more management, less managers'' last year trimmed the 26 county departments and constitutional offices to 14, said more cuts are needed because of the continuing economic problems and the commission's decision to not seek additional tax money for the new budget year.

"Simply stated, now that we have certainty to the magnitude of the fiscal shortfall, deeper expenditure reductions will need to occur,'' Hamilton wrote in a memo to the commission released Thursday.

In the memo, Hamilton outlines a plan to simplify the current complicated management structure, which has about 20 pay grades. For commission controlled employees, the management structure should be directors, managers and supervisors.

His plan is to use the simplified structure, which would include pay grade decreases and changes in duties for a number of the county's top people, to save at least $500,000.

Hamilton had first announced his reorganization plan in June noting that, of the 47 positions originally envisioned for cutting from the budget, none were directors, managers or supervisors.

Cutting some management positions and changing pay structure for the upper managers were key elements of the proposal, including trimming his own leadership team from eight to five members.

In Thursday's memo, Hamilton again repeats his plan to cut the leadership team by three or four positions with Hamilton himself taking on the additional role of director of administrative services, a title that is now part of budget office director George Zoettlein's responsibilities.

Some positions within the current leadership team and support staff could be considered for elimination "much in the same way that we have done within county administration.'' In Hamilton's nearly 2 1/2-year tenure, his staff has been reduced by two administrative secretaries and a deputy administrator.

As commissioners begin to think about the sweeping changes Hamilton is seeking, they will also have some additional information to consider Tuesday from Cheryl Marsden, human resources director.

She has included details about the county's current staff, their pay grades, management to staffing ratios and how director salaries compare to similar jobs in other counties. Marsden also makes some suggestions about how to make pay rates more fair among those with similar titles and responsibilities, but notes that the process will be complicated because some of the supervisors are represented by the Teamsters Union.

She suggests the county's legal staff might be able to clarify how the county could make such changes in accordance with the Teamsters contract.

Hamilton states that the proposals are for commission review and consideration during Tuesday's regular meeting. He plans to make a more detailed presentation about how the plan would be put into place and how it would impact individual employees at another commission meeting later this month.

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

Hernando County considers administrator's management shuffling plan 08/05/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2010 8:42pm]

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