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.