Columbia County splits up events, recreation departments


Stacie Adkins will be taking off one of her hats.


Columbia County’s Recreation and Events manager no longer will manage the recreation department, and instead will take on an expanded role in running county events.

Commissioners voted Tuesday after a closed-door personnel session to again split the two departments, which had been joined under Adkins since June 2011, a few months after the retirement of longtime Recreation Department Manager Charlie Beale.

“It turned out to be more than one person could do,” County Administrator Scott Johnson said. “We just felt like it was better to take a step back and put people where their strengths are.”

John Luton, who came to the county as assistant recreation manager about four months ago from the Greenville-Spartanburg area, was promoted to recreation manager.

Adkins was reassigned as events manager but also will take over operations of Evans Towne Center Park and Lady Antebellum Pavilion.

Commissioners last year budgeted, but never hired, a separate manager to handle events for that facility.

Instead, that vacant job will be downgraded to a specialist position, putting three specialists under Adkins to manage.

Altogether, the restructuring “will save us about $6,000 to $8,000 per year, and we feel like we’ve got the right people in the right jobs,” Johnson said.

He emphasized the realignment isn’t a negative reflection on Adkins.

“She has done an outstanding job,” Johnson said. “It’s just that the job she was asked to do was more than one manager could possibly do. For lack of a better term, she was working herself to death. She had to be in too many places at one time.”

Johnson said Luton was hired last year with the idea that he would one day take over the department.

“He’s young, he’s energetic, he’s very intelligent, and he has a good business sense about him,” Johnson said.



NOTE: Because of a reporter’s error, Columbia County Employee of the Year Paul Scarbary was misidentified in a story in Wednesday’s paper.

• Commissioners awarded a five-year contract to CSRA Probation Services for management of misdemeanor probationers through Superior Court. The company already handles probation supervision for the county’s Magistrate Court and will take on supervision of Superior Court cases for all three counties of the Augusta Judicial Circuit if also approved by the Augusta and Burke County commissions.

• Commissioners approved the rezoning of 50 acres behind Pumpkin Center Store from agricultural to residential, but limited the number of homes that could be built on the site to 30. The Planning and Zoning Board had recommended rejection of the rezoning for the site, which earlier had been rejected for use as a tour bus maintenance facility.

• Commissioners approved spending more than $300,000 on stream credits and wetlands credits at the direction of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow construction of the extension of William Few Parkway to Hardy McManus Road. Construction could begin by summer.

• Named Facility Services Manager Paul Scarbary as Employee of the Year, and the staff of the Board of Elections as Team of the Year.

– From staff reports