Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer announced March 28 he was reorganizing county government's current structure to increase efficiency without lowering the level of service provided to residents.
The proposed changes will consolidate many offices and departments into larger umbrella departments, streamlining the organization of county services. Staff is making the necessary changes so the revised structure is fully implemented by Oct. 1.
"I believe in the basic fundamentals, direct communication, accountability and productivity," Harmer said in a statement. "The improved structure is designed to create cost savings, maximize resources, streamline processes and realign services within functional areas; so we can better serve our community and meet our goals."
The changes include:
• Separating Public Utilities from the Public Works Department
• Grouping all Public Works functions under one department and under the supervision of one director.
• Aligning all development, planning, zoning, permitting, environmental protection and regulatory functions as well as Neighborhood Services and the Community Redevelopment Areas program within one department - Planning and Development Services.
• Consolidating the Parks and Recreation Department with the natural resources/lands-management function into one department.
• Shifting the responsibility of sustainability programs into the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Sarasota County Extension.
• Including Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) Department (along with Public Utilities, Public Works, and Planning and Development Services) in the Community Development/Infrastructure group, under Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham.
• Moving Commission Services, Enterprise Information Technology and Human Resources departments, along with the Office of Financial Management, into the Administrative Services group under Acting Assistant County Administrator Steve Botelho.
• Grouping Health and Human Services; Libraries and Historical Resources; Parks and Recreation; Emergency Services; Sarasota County Extension and Sustainability; and Homeless Services under the Community Services group administered by ACA Lee Ann Lowery.
• Realigning the Office of Business and Economic Development so it directly reports to the county administrator.
Residents can call 861-5000 for more information.
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