Following approval from the East Greenwich School Committee, the East Greenwich Town Council on Monday approved plans proposed by Town Manager Gayle Corrigan that improve financial oversight, streamline vital accounting and administrative functions, and improve efficiencies between Town and School operations. Under Corrigan’s plan, the Town and School Department’s finance and human resource functions will be consolidated to deliver a united enterprise that allows the School Department to commit more resources to its educational mission.
The consolidated model was first introduced nine months ago by Town Manager Corrigan in response to the School Department’s structural deficit. Under the leadership of Town Manager Corrigan and Superintendent Dr. Mercurio, the mechanics of how best to structure the consolidation were developed over the course of several months. The School Committee voted to adopt the plan on March 20, 2018.
“Together with Dr. Mercurio, we’ve developed a plan that brings greater efficiency to administrative functions in a sensible reorganization,” said Town Manager Corrigan.
In the coming months, the School Central Office will be relocated to Town Hall under a renovation plan developed in-house by the Department of Public Works. The plan provides a more conducive environment for professional development, improved work spaces, and a more welcoming area for students and parents. “Our DPW Director, Joe Duarte, and his staff have been invaluable in providing us with re-designed floor plans to achieve these changes with nominal expense,” said Corrigan.
The Town Council also approved on Monday a reorganization plan that adds greater resources to programs that improve the quality of life for all East Greenwich residents.
Under the consolidated model, the Parks and Recreation Department and Human and Senior Services Department are combined at the director level to create a unified Community Services and Parks Department. The Town’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program also functions under the new department to share resources, foster innovation, and coordinate program space.
“This is a great initiative that will create a unique umbrella for children, individuals and families,” said substance abuse Director Houghtaling. “This collaboration will not only enhance services, but also embraces and broadens the entire spectrum of services we’re able to provide.”
The reorganization creates mid-level positions to expand the suite of services offered to East Greenwich residents of all ages and needs. These positions serve three distinct areas—recreation programs, senior services, and social services—with a focus on quality programming and education, wraparound services, and robust outreach. The cost-neutral reorganization preserves the employment of all current staff members in each department while expanding non-union staff roles.
“This model furthers our efforts to make a meaningful investment and impact in the quality of life of every East Greenwich resident,” said Corrigan. “We have great staff and programs in place, and additional staff resources will allow the Town to reach and serve more populations by fostering collaboration and innovation under one united department with a focus on wraparound services, programs and support.”
The Town Council approved the appointment of Cathy Bradley, the Town’s former parks and recreation director, to serve as director of community services and parks. An East Greenwich native, Director Bradley has served the East Greenwich community in a director capacity for over 30 years and has a successful track record in managing programs, services, facilities, and staff.
“I’m excited to see the Town pursue a holistic and coordinated approach to delivering services and programs,” said Bradley. “Under one department, we can work more closely together to provide the best available services to East Greenwich residents. By bringing together our knowledge, expertise and resources, we can strengthen our services, collaborate to offer intergenerational programming, and expand our reach.”
Charlotte Markey has been appointed to the role of senior center director.
Rachel-Lyn Longo, an East Greenwich native and resident, has been appointed to the role of community resource manager.