During the past ten months, County Administrator Michael Wanchick has asked all County departments to closely scrutinize their costs and programs to find ways to provide better services more efficiently, according to a media release sent to Historic City News this afternoon from Karen Pan, Office of Public Affairs.
Health and Human Services Director Dr. Maria Colavito responded by working with Administration to look at all options, including the possibility of outsourcing. Ultimately they determined that reorganization was the most effective way to rededicate organizational resources to the delivery of client services.
St. Johns County has reorganized the Health and Human Services Department to produce a more focused delivery of services. By consolidating administrative functions in the Mental Health, Social Services and Community Based Care Divisions, the County expects to save more than $600,000 annually with no decrease in client services.
The reorganization included the elimination of nine positions, with four additional positions being reassigned from management to client services. Employees in the eliminated positions will receive full compensation including benefits through the end of June. Additionally, the County Personnel Department is working with those employees who desire to remain with the County to possibly fill other positions that are currently funded yet vacant.
â€œWhile this reorganization is occurring during property tax reform, it is not in direct response to Amendment 1,â€ Wanchick explained. â€œWhile the taxpayers certainly will benefit from the $600,000 annual savings, this was simply the right time to implement the efficiency measures in Health and Human Services that we are working to achieve across all departments.â€
The reorganization is a result of the ongoing managerial analysis in which County Administration has been engaged over the past several months.