03/16/07 — Bartlett will take job as GS director

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Bartlett will take job as GS director

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 16, 2007 1:54 PM

After more than two months of searching, members of Goldsboro's city management team have found a new General Services director right here at home -- current Recreation and Parks Director Neil Bartlett.

"It's the perfect fit," City Manager Joe Huffman said. "He's already a member of the organizational leadership team and he understands how we are doing business here. That is certainly very valuable."

Bartlett began working for the city in 1978 and has been a department head since 1990. He said he hopes his experience as a team leader will make the transition into his new role easier.

"Having been with the city for so long, I hope that gives me a head start," Bartlett said.

Still, he expects it might take as long as a year to "grasp all of the operations General Services is responsible for."

Bartlett's hire will take effect July 1, Huffman said, at which point he will oversee the city garage, countless utility and street maintenance projects, the cemetery, sanitation crews and more.

"I am enthusiastic about it," Bartlett said. "I've admired what the great folks at General Services have been doing for a number of years now. I told my staff that this is the only position I would ever consider leaving Recreation and Parks for."

It will be difficult to leave those friends and colleagues behind, he added.

"They can't imagine the amount of sleep I've lost agonizing over this decision," Bartlett said. "The many good people we have here, I will definitely miss working with them."

Huffman said those sentiments further prove Bartlett's strength as a leader and team player -- one who connects with his staff and pushes them to do great things.

"He's obviously got some tremendous leadership skills," Huffman said. "He's already initiated and helped support many projects, but he wants a new challenge -- to continue to learn things and acquire new skills. I think that tells me a lot about somebody's character."

Bartlett's hire will also mean that Joe Sawyer -- the longtime General Services director who retired last December -- can officially step down from his interim post.

Sawyer had held the position since November 1989 and agreed to stay on with the city until a suitable replacement was found.

"We will always recognize and appreciate that he got us through this," Huffman said.

The city's focus now will be an aggressive pursuit of a replacement for Bartlett.

Huffman said he feels confident that a high volume of applications will come in and hopes to have a new Recreation and Parks director named by the time Bartlett moves across town.

"That's the plan," Huffman said. "Obviously, we'll advertise and see who we can attract."