On August 4, 2022, 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 into the 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 have access to all the support staff associated with this unit. This includes 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 answer questions from the public.
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.
This plan will be taken up by the City Council at its August 8th meeting 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.
Residents will have the opportunity to comment at the upcoming public hearings held by the Council. The Reorganization Plan is available to review here: https://www.cityofnewburyport.com/mayors-office/files/parks-reorganization-plan