D. Lanny Russell summarized his conversation with Bob Baughman, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Entertainment Department. Bob's suggestions to Lanny were to integrate the Preservation Project Jacksonville into the Department by creating a new division and division chief, as this would allow for less duplication of recreation teams, maintenance crews, and related equipment. Bob explained that currently the Department Maintenance Division is divided geographically into quadrants, while Activities Division is divided by location of community centers, and Planning Division is centralized. Bob thinks Public Relations should be directly under the Director, rather than under Recreation, perhaps as a new Division encompassing volunteer services as well. There is currently not a Deputy Director of the Department.
Mr. Russell passed out an organizational chart of the Department to illustrate the existing Governance structure. It was suggested that Bob Baughman share the functions of the Divisions with the sub-committee at the next meeting. Mark Middlebrook explained that the categories of Division Chief, etc. are set by ordinance with corresponding pay levels and that many of the Department positions are Civil Service and / or regulated by unions, especially in the Maintenance division.
E. The group discussed again the idea of a Park Superintendent who would focus on planning, relations with Council, partners, etc., and fundraising (similar to a CEO). Under the Superintendent would be a Deputy Superintendent who would focus more on park operations (similar to a COO). Tom Majdanics suggested that the group keep strategies in mind when thinking of structure. The strategies the group focused on were public relations/ input/ marketing efforts, leadership (Governing Board), safety/ security, resource protection, successful park development, and employee stewardship of individual parks.
With this in mind, the group looked at the existing organizational chart again and thought about how to incorporate the strategies. For instance, if the group were to recommend that each park have an assigned 'keeper-of-the-park', where would this person fit in the organizational structure to allow for the best ownership over the park? It was suggested that Bob Baughman could help with this at the next meeting and explain where Claudia (who manages Hanna and Huguenot Parks now) fits into the structure. Park keeper could work with neighborhood associations and park trust groups. How would Bob B. see job duty of park keeper?
Another example was given for the successful park development strategy. Barbara Goodman told the group about the Timucuan Bike Trail project, which is federally funded, through a grant to the City, with the project location on a State Park, in the National Park Service boundary area. When funds were received, the project was turned over to the City's Public Works Department, and there was not process in place to ensure the park was developed successfully with input from all interested parties. It was noted that Peter Harnik (speaker 5/20/04) recommended keeping control of park construction/ capital improvements within the Parks Department.
In relation to safety/ security the group suggested that there be a position reporting to the Deputy Superintendent on the issue to elevate the focus on the issue. This could include both the safety and security of the park user. This employee could then work with volunteers, JSO, building inspections, etc. to make parks more secure and safe.
F. A sample organizational structure was discussed to describe the concepts discussed by the sub-committee.