BRADENTON – At a special meeting on Monday evening, the Manatee School Board unanimously approved Superintendent Rick Mills' District Re-Organization Plan for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, as well as various revised job descriptions that are a part of that plan.
The plan, part of which contains a revamping of job duties for various top-level positions in the District, essentially states that the re-organization is necessary to better align "personnel, function and ability to supply service," and that some new positions "were specifically created to bring increased accountability to specific functions."
Mills said that Deputy Superintendents Greene and Hall, who designed the personnel charts for the plan, "did a very good job of not only laying out the (new) organizational structure, but the necessary positions and job descriptions, and the expertise needed to move to this District forward ... and put together an organization chart with the right folks at the right bus seats and the necessary skills to turn the District in the right direction."
The plan was largely met with praise from board members. David Miner said, "I think we can be joyful that we have an organizational plan of this caliber and an outline for us to go forward to be the best district in the state of Florida."
Vice Chair Julie Aranibar said that while she took no joy in reading the report, she was grateful for the opportunity to essentially fix the district's issues.
Before the vote, board member Robert Gause had a few questions regarding the plan's revised job descriptions, and some of the answers showed much about the new administration's vision.
One of the questions was in regard to the plan's separation of risk management from part of the duties of the Director of Benefits and Compensation.
Deputy Superintendent Don Hall, who Mills said he had discussed that position's change with "in depth," responded that the change was part of the new administation's goal to improve the district's "focus and accountability." "Risk management had been responsible for worker's comp, insurance, health insurance, wellness, and security. One person cannot (perform for all of those responsibilities)," he said, adding that the position had not been done adequately in the past, and that he found that the structure of the position, and not the administrator, whose performance he noted many board members had complained about in the past, was the issue.
Board member Barbara Harvey asked about whether the new Director of Communications/Family & Community Engagement position described in the plan would "have some expertise working with community organizations."
Mills, whom the position will report to, responded that "all school districts that I've had experience with has a core function around community and family engagement ... we are looking for a director-level position with expertise in public communications and community and family engagement."
Hall also brought to light what he was looking for in filling the position of HR Director: "Someone who's had a lot of experience in managing human resource programs ... (there are) a lot of core functions in HR resources that this District doesn't have."
The plan will effectively save the District $3.7 million, which is noted in the administration's Financial Recovery Plan.
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