Corrigan Plan Combines Parks, Human Services, Substance Abuse

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Town Manager Gayle Corrigan will unveil a new Community Services and Parks Department at the Town Council meeting Monday night, a move that will combine the current Senior and Human Services Department, the Parks and Recreation Department, and Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator Bob Houghtaling into one unit.

The proposal needs the approval of the Town Council for appointments of two new staff members to fill what had been former Senior and Human Services Director Erin McAndrew’s job. McAndrew left for a job in North Kingstown last week.

While this is a consolidation, it will not save money, Corrigan said in a memo to the Town Council released Thursday.

“It is designed to improve services rather than to cut costs,” she wrote.

How much more, exactly, will be determined by what the Town Council decide in terms of salaries for the two new employees.

Cathy Bradley, the longtime director of parks and recreation, will oversee the expanded department. In some ways, everything old is new again – Bradley oversaw senior service offerings before the town established a separate department 14 years ago. Of course, since then, the town has expanded its senior service offerings considerably.

Below Bradley will be four positions: recreation manager (yet to be filled), senior services manager (Charlotte Markey, according to the agenda for Monday’s meeting (if approved by the Town Council), and community resource manager (Rachael-Lyn Longo, EGHS Class of 2011, also if approved), and a substance abuse coordinator (presumably Bob Houghtaling, who currently holds that position).

Read Corrigan’s memo to the Town Council here: Town Department Reorganization. The Town Council meets Monday at Town Hall – for the first time in months – at 7 p.m. Here’s the agenda.

Editor’s Note: Information originally posted about the recreation manager was incorrect. East Greenwich News regrets the error.


6 Replies to “Corrigan Plan Combines Parks, Human Services, Substance Abuse”

    1. If you click on the link on Gayle’s memo, there is an org chart and there is a position for a substance abuse coordinator. Not sure where Bob H. fits in, but that’s his job.

  1. It is truly amazing how something is never talked about and then all of the sudden approved costing taxpayers more money. Why are we replacing one position with several new employees? Also, was these new positions advertised? How much is it costing? The Town has cut the schools and jobs but are creating new positions. This whole plan makes no sense. It appears to me that this will cost over $200,000 which was never budgeted or talked about. Also add the pension/healthcare costs into the equation and that figure increases even more. It makes me wonder the real reason for this? Another PR move by the Town?

  2. Glad to see the efficiencies of combining these small departments – a single budget, consolidation of processes and support will help across the org. Great job!

  3. Cathy Bradley is an excellent choice to run the newly combined department. It’s also a great opportunity to emphasize and inform the community that all services available for our seniors are also available for our residents with disabilities. It’s not a huge budget item, but EG cares about it’s vulnerable citizens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *