Reid brings big changes
Since he took office eight months ago, Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid has been working on a reconstruction plan for Sarasota County government.
Beginning Oct. 1, the county will begin realigning workflow and skills within Operations and Maintenance, Environmental Utilities, Transportation and Public Works departments. These departments will be consolidated into a reporting practice called the Capital Assets Group.
“This is the beginning of a constant, continuous improvement of the county,” Reid said. “The first step was to combine some of the departments and realign some of the management of those departments.”
Jim Harriott, the county’s chief engineer, will lead the Capital Assets group. He has been with Sarasota County for 16 years, including six years as executive director of Public Works, Reid said efforts to improve the physical working environment at the Sarasota Center Boulevard facility and coordinate activities in the field will rest with Harriott.
The Capital Assets Group will be aligned with and coordinate its efforts under the Community Planning Group headed by assistant county administrator Mark Cunningham to ensure that both the natural environment and as-built infrastructure are protected, planned for and enhanced.
“That’s basically the field departments involving engineering, maintenance and landscaping, which are, candidly, the areas we’ve had problems with,” Reid said. “We chose this area as a priority.”
Ed Gable will join the county Nov. 5 to oversee the Facilities department, which includes general services, maintenance and planning along with fleet, horticulture and support. Gable, who has a bachelor’s degree in building construction from the University of Florida, brings 20 years of experience managing facilities and similar functions for Alachua County School Board to the county. Gable’s wife, Susan, was recently hired to work as the county’s budget manager in the Finance and Planning division.
In other changes, Current Operations and Maintenance Director Dave Cash has accepted a new role overseeing the county’s Asset Management Stormwater/Utilities Renewal and Replacement Program. This will involve the renewal and replacement effort for the county’s underground infrastructure. Responsibilities will include coordinating and prioritizing the replacement or lining of stormwater and sewer pipes.
Roger Rasbury and Spencer Anderson will continue in their roles managing Capital Projects and Field Services, Anderson will be in charge of overseeing the county’s mowing contracts, which were recently awarded to four firms in different zones of the county after the county canceled a contract with Blooming’s earlier this year due to lack of performance. Clarke Davis will serve as leader of the Transportation group.
County commissioners were pleased to see the changes Reid has made.
“Mr. Reid has made some deliberate changes after an eight-month diligent study of the county organization and community,” said Sarasota County Commission Chair Christine Robinson. “I am very much looking forward to seeing improved service as a result of these changes.”
“This is a good start,” added Commissioner Joe Barbetta. “I think he’s got some work to do, but he’s slowly coming around and restoring the morale and putting people in places they should be.”