Botetourt County has announced a number of departmental organizations as a result of focused efforts to identify ways to improve the local government organization and increase the county’s efficiency and effectiveness. These changes provide the county with ways to better meet changing community needs and service expectations, county officials said.
“No organizations can remain successful and be stagnant. The goal of these changes is to create an organization that is ready to meet the challenges that face us and to provide our citizens, visitors, and businesses with the highest level of service possible,” county officials said in a press release.
Departments directly affected are Maintenance, Recreation, Community Development, and Economic Development.
In the spring of 2020, county administration decided to split the Department of Recreation and Facilities into two because both Recreation and Maintenance needed dedicated leadership. This split lets the county discontinue the Director of Recreation and Facilities position and hire professionals with expertise in their respective fields, county officials said.
“What we’re really trying to do is tighten the ship,” said County Administrator Gary Larrowe of the reorganization.
The reorganization plan has two major impacts: reduces county fiscal outlay and provides more autonomy for each department, he said.
Ricky Dowdy was hired as Maintenance Director in September and came to the county with decades of maintenance experience. Under his leadership, the Maintenance Department is responsible for the upkeep and repair of county offices and facilities and their grounds and has taken over responsibility for the care of parks and recreational facilities, county-owned boat landings and trails, and recreational sports fields, including the Sports Complex.
The department also has been organized into four operational divisions: building maintenance, grounds maintenance, sports field maintenance, and custodial services. This organization has allowed the county to discontinue the Parks and Sports Fields Manager position while having custodian, grounds maintenance technician, sports field technician, and turf manager positions available to provide broad service to meet the needs of the County.
Mandy Atkins was hired as Recreation Director and assumed her position on Jan. 4.
Atkins joins in leading the department by Chris McDonald and Shontae’ Wade, both serving as Recreation Managers. McDonald began working for the county on Dec. 14, and Wade started on Jan. 4. In addition to these new hires, Shelby Bryant will assume a new position of Sports Complex Manager, effective Jan. 1, and report jointly to the Maintenance and Recreation Directors.
All of these changes have allowed the county to end the positions of Recreation Coordinator and Sports Complex Coordinator. Moreover, the position of Recreation and Facilities Secretary is being revised to Recreation Secretary. This reorganization is anticipated to provide some of the highest levels of recreation services available to the community and is the result of the tremendous talent in this department, county officials said.
The Department of Community Development also underwent a number of organizational changes effective Jan. 1. First, David Givens, who served as the Development Services Manager, will assume the position of Botetourt County Engineer. This position was reinstituted after several years and is responsible for all aspects of the county’s erosion and sediment control and storm water management programs. Givens also will liaise with the Western Virginia Water Authority and provide management for specific capital and technical projects. As a result of this change, the position of Erosion and Sediment Control/Storm Water Management Dual Combined Administrator will be discontinued.
Second, Jim Whitten, who served as the Capital Projects Manager, is now Development Services Manager and Master Building Official. Whitten has more than 40 years of construction/inspections experience, 30 years of management/supervisory experience, and 27 certifications by the International Code Commission, including the certification of Master Code Professional. In his new role, Whitten will manage the Development Services Division of the Department of Community Development, which includes development plan reviews, permitting, inspections, and enforcement. This new, combined position allows the two stand- alone positions of Development Services Manager and Building Official to be discontinued. The Capital Projects Manager position remains in place should the need arise to fill it in the future.
The final department undergoing reorganization is Economic Development. The position of Assistant Director of Economic Development has been vacant since the spring. Based on the current and anticipated needs of the department, that position was discontinued, effective Dec. 31.