By Alyssa Schnugg
For more than 20 years, Bart Robinson has worn many hats as a city of Oxford employee. Some of his larger hats in the last nine years have included being the Chief Operating Officer, Public Works Director and City Engineer.
However, the city is doing some restructuring of some of its departments allowing Robinson to pass off at least two of those hats to someone else.
As the city grows, so does the responsibilities for each position.
The city is now searching to hire a new Public Works Director/City Engineer so Robinson can focus on being the COO for the city.
“My hope is that we are able to place more focus on the future,” he said Thursday.
Mayor Robin Tannehill said while the job posting on the city’s website has it as one position, it’s possible the city will hire an engineer and a new director of Public Works.
“We’re going to see if we can find someone capable of fulfilling both,” Tannehill said. “If not, we may consider hiring two people.”
According to the job listing, the applicant will serve as the “engineer and as the administrative head for all Public Works, supervise all Public Works Departments: General Administration, Highway and Street Maintenance, Transmission and Distribution, Source of Supply, Sanitary Sewer Lines, Treatment and Purification, Lift Station and city of Oxford Electric Department.”
In other restructuring efforts, six of the eight maintenance workers currently employed under the Oxford Park Commission will move over to the Building and Grounds Department.
OPC oversees 12 parks as well as FNC Park and the Oxford Activity Center campus.
The Building and Grounds Department will take over the mowing, weeding, landscaping, and bathroom maintenance at all 12 parks starting Oct. 1. OPC will continue to maintain the Activity Center campus and tennis complex, Avent tennis courts, Stone Center, batting cages and all playgrounds.
“This streamlines the maintenance of the grounds within the city. There will be one department taking care of landscaping and maintenance of park facilities,” said OPC Director Seth Gaines. “In the long run the city should purchase less equipment and save the city money.”
Building and Grounds Director Greg Pinion said the change will allow OPC to focus on what it does best – creating recreational programming.
“And it allows (Buildings and Grounds) to focus on landscaping and apply our talents where they’re needed,” Pinion said.
Pinion said he already has ideas on how to elevate the landscaping at the several of the city’s parks.
“We’ll come up with plans for each park to increase the aesthetics,” he said. “Just like we do for the Oxford Conference Center and the Square.”