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Commissioners split up recreation, events departments

Posted: January 15, 2013 - 8:18pm  |  Updated: January 20, 2013 - 1:05am
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Barry Paschal Columbia County Commissioner Charles Allen presented the county's Team of the Year award for 2012 to the Board of Elections Office during the County Commission meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. Receiving the award are Jarthurlynn Hosley, elections coordinator (from left); Nancy Gay, registration coordinator; Staci Landers, elections and registration assistant; and Board of Elections board members Ann Cushman, Neal Johnson and Larry Long.  Barry Paschal
Barry Paschal
Barry Paschal Columbia County Commissioner Charles Allen presented the county's Team of the Year award for 2012 to the Board of Elections Office during the County Commission meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. Receiving the award are Jarthurlynn Hosley, elections coordinator (from left); Nancy Gay, registration coordinator; Staci Landers, elections and registration assistant; and Board of Elections board members Ann Cushman, Neal Johnson and Larry Long.

A little more than a year and a half after combining management of Columbia County’s recreation and community events departments, commissioners Tuesday decided the job was too much for one person.

Stacie Adkins will have expanded role in running county events, while her former role managing the recreation department will be handled by her former assistant.

Commissioners voted Tuesday after a closed-door personnel session to split the two departments that were joined under Adkins in June 2011 a few months after the retirement of longtime Recreation Department Manager Charlie Beale.

“It turned out to be more than one person could do,” said County Administrator Scott Johnson. “We just felt like it was better to take a step back and put people where their strengths are.”

John Luton, who came to the county as assistant recreation manager about four months ago from the Greenville-Spartanburg area, was promoted to recreation manager. Adkins was reassigned as events manager, but also will take over operations of Evans Towne Center Park and Lady Antebellum Pavilion.

Commissioners last year budgeted, but never hired, a separate manager to handle events for that facility. Instead, that vacant job will be downgraded to a specialist position, putting three of them under Adkins to manage. Altogether, the restructuring “will save us about $6,000 to $8,000 per year, and we feel like we’ve got the right people in the right jobs,” Johnson said.

He emphasized the realignment isn’t a negative reflection on Adkins.

“She has done an outstanding job,” Johnson said. “It’s just that the job she was asked to do was more than one manager could possibly do. For lack of a better term, she was working herself to death. She had to be in too many places at one time.”

As for Luton, Johnson said he was hired last year with the idea that he’d one day take over the department.

“He’s young, he’s energetic, he’s very intelligent, and he has a good business sense about him,” Johnson said.

IN OTHER ACTION TUESDAY, COMMISSIONERS:

• Awarded a five-year contract to CSRA Probation Services for management of misdemeanor probationers through Superior Court. The company already handles probation supervision for the county’s Magistrate Court, and will take on supervision of Superior Court cases for all three counties of the Augusta Judicial Circuit if also approved by the Augusta and Burke County commissions.

• Approved the rezoning of 50 acres behind the Pumpkin Center Store from agricultural to residential, but limiting the number of homes that could be built on the site to 30. The Planning and Zoning Board had recommended rejection of the rezoning for the site, which earlier had been rejected for use as a tour bus maintenance facility.

• Approved spending more than $300,000 on stream credits and wetlands credits at the direction of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow construction of the extension of William Few Parkway to Hardy McManus Road. Construction on the project could begin by summer.

• Named Construction and Maintenance Facilities Services Manager Paul Scarbary as Employee of the Year, and the staff of the Board of Elections as Team of the Year.

• Approved alcohol licenses for a new Armondo’s Grill and Pizzeria in the Riverwood shopping center, and an alcohol license for the new ALDI grocery store set to open Jan. 31 on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez.

• Set the fee schedule for access to the county’s newly operational broadband utility.

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