Wednesday, January 16, 2008

District management needs to lose weight.

That's right. I know everyone was already thinking it, but I had to write it on the blog. District management needs to lose weight. A lot of it. The organization (I use the term very loosely here) has been getting very heavy in the middle and could stand to drop some dead weight - in 200 pound increments.

With his new pair of crutches, a certain facilities director would be the first to go. Professionally hobbling along on public assistance (yes, I said it) and honing his only talent - delegating to each of his shiny new crutches. When his armpits tire, he retreats to his soon-to-be-reconfigured tall box by the window. Those residing in the shadows have my sympathy.

You see, the position of Facilities Operations Director was created because the Executive Director of Business and Operations couldn't manage the Director of Maintenance. There was a lot of dysfunction for a lot of years. When the Director of Planning, Property, Risk, Safety, Custodial and Emergency Services resigned, there was an opportunity to shift this responsibility to someone new. Perhaps a new person with a new title: Director of Planning, Property, Risk, Safety, Custodial, Emergency Services and Maintenance - or just Director of Facilities Operations for short.

Unfortunately for the taxpayer, the Director of Maintenance retired and since this new position had already been created, another cog in middle management became swollen and bloated. Ideally, the District should eliminate the Facilities Operations position and shift the Custodial Manager and Maintenance Manager positions back to the Executive Director of Business and Operations for reporting.

There cannot be any real benefit to having custodial and maintenance issues translated by the Director of Facilities Operations for the comprehension of the Executive Director of Business and Operations, unless something happened during the transition to Assistant Superintendent. How that happened has always been a mystery for the rest of us.

In facilities management, it isn't uncommon to have superintendents and assistant superintendents. These are people that normally look after the management of buildings. But in the academic world, an assistant superintendent should have some sort of academic qualification. An advanced degree perhaps? I wonder how Ellen, Sue, Tony and Ken feel about their new academic counterparts. I used to think it might require a few extra years of schooling to carry so prestigious a title. Apparently, they hand such titles out like candy.

In any case, the taxpayer is footing the bill for such middle managers. Changing titles to justify creeping salaries doesn't have anyone fooled. When companies lack the money to enrich their friends immediately, they frequently use the budget rut to fluff titles and when the money comes back they look around and ask, "How is the Chief Assistant Superintendent of Life and Liberty earning less than $200,000 a year?" Especially when they might spend 30 times that amount on what could be described as a protracted date.

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