NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Sean Reardon released his plan for the reorganization of the Newburyport Parks Department, in which the majority of the department’s responsibilities will be moved under the oversight Department of Public Services (DPS).
The Parks maintenance staff will move into a Parks Division within DPS, and this unit will primarily be responsible for maintenance and inspection, completion of capital projects, and parks improvement functions.
Moving into the Department of Public Services means this team will benefit from the support staff associated with this unit. The parks team will have assistance with procurement, budgeting, and contract management through the DPS Business Manager. Likewise, there will be three administrative staff members at DPS who will be able to file work orders, reserve parks, and provide additional services directly to members of the public.
“Newburyport is extremely fortunate to have so many parks to serve our desire to connect with open space both actively and passively,” said Mayor Reardon. “We owe it to these parks and to our community to leave no stone unturned when it comes to opportunities to deliver a high level of service in an efficient manner.”
A significant change within this structure is the elimination of the Parks Director position. The majority of responsibilities will be moved to DPS with additional assistance from the Mayor’s Office, the Parks Commission, and Newburyport Youth Services. The plan describes the details for reassigning this position’s responsibilities and shows the operational advantages of consolidating this department, including sharing of equipment, improving administrative systems in the Parks Division, and saving on bulk purchases and shared contracts.
“I strongly believe that the best path forward to care for our parks and ultimately to serve the residents and taxpayers of Newburyport is a reorganization that will produce better outcomes while simultaneously using City resources more efficiently,” the Mayor said. “I want to thank everyone who worked hard to complete this plan, and I look forward to its consideration by the City Council.”
This plan was taken up by the City Council where it will be referred to committee. Under the City Charter, the plan is subject to at least one public hearing, and the plan will be in effect after 60 days from its introduction unless the City Council votes to disapprove of the plan. The City will be following up the plan with requests for needed budget transfers and amendments to the Code of Ordinances that will accompany the Mayor’s Administrative Order.
The Reorganization Plan is available by visiting: https://www.cityofnewburyport.com/mayors-office/pages/parks-reorganization-plan, and residents will have the opportunity to comment at the upcoming public hearings held by the Council.