Cheers to Manatee County government for greater efficiency

October 12, 2013 

A kayaker paddles the waters of Robinson Preserve, one of the most popular parks in Manatee County parks system. FILE PHOTO/TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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Manatee County government continues to downsize and create greater efficiencies, this time by merging two departments, eliminating five positions and saving $250,000.

The Parks and Recreation Department and Natural Resources Department now become one -- under the name Parks and Natural Resources Department.

This makes perfect sense as we could never figure why the county's grand collection of nature preserves -- recreational gems for birders, kayakers and myriad nature lovers -- would not be a part of the parks department.

Now, under the direction of Charlie Hunsicker, longtime Natural Resources chief, the new department can promote the county's public amenities under one banner.

County Administrator Ed Hunzeker, in announcing his strategic move this week, predicted broader efforts from the old Natural Resources Department's strong volunteer network. Those invaluable volunteers already donate thousands of hours a year to county works. Cheers to them.

And cheers to Hunzeker for the merger. The savings can be diverted to other county expenses and programs.

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