The City of Murfreesboro launched a third new division--the Utility Enterprises Division Friday (Aug. 17)--as part of the on-going process to reorganize the City's administrative structure and enhance customer service. The newly created division will incorporate mostly independent enterprises--the Water Resources, Electric (MED), and Solid Waste departments, as well as the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport under the direction of Director Darren Gore, currently director of Water Resources.
Gore was promoted to serve as Utility Enterprises Director in accordance with the Ordinance adopted by the City Council on Aug. 16, 2018. He will also be promoted to the level of Assistant City Manager, reporting directly to the City Manager.
"Darren's skills and experience are precisely those needed to handle the complexities of utility enterprises, the amount of fee revenue generated by the departments, and the number of employees managed under the Utility Enterprises Division," said City Manager Craig Tindall. "Additionally, Darren's demonstrated management and strategic planning excellence, as well as policy development and budgeting expertise will provide organizational leadership that will greatly benefit the City as a whole."
During Gore's tenure the Water Resources Department has been designated as a Utility of the Future for embracing positive change which included innovative approaches to water management and use.
"The goal for each of these departments within the Utility Enterprises Division is to be financially self-sustaining," added Tindall. "The Water Resources and Electric departments already operate in such a manner. The Airport is largely self-sustaining and will reach this goal with the planned development of additional aviation facility and services. Solid Waste has operated as a General Fund department. As a utility service; however, the goal is for this department to become a self-sustaining enterprise fund in the near future. This includes the implementation of a long-term solid waste management solution; a solution the City and County are currently working to develop."
Gore will continue to manage operations at the Water Resources Department. This includes oversight of the Stones River Water Treatment Plant, the Sinking Creek Water Resources Recovery Facility and Customer Service. Similarly, P.D. Mynant will continue to serve as General Manager of the Murfreesboro Electric Department, Joey Smith as director of the Solid Waste Department and Chad Gehrke as director of the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport. The Water Resources Board, Power Board and Airport Commission will all continue in their same oversight functions.
Darren Gore has served as director of the Murfreesboro Water Resources Department (formerly Water and Sewer Department) since 2012 and was first hired with the department as assistant director in 2005. He has over twenty-five years of engineering experience and has also worked in the private sector in industry with Dupont and Company, and as an engineering design consultant with Wiser Company, LLC, and Nelson and Company, PC. Gore holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Engineering from Georgia Tech University (Georgia Institute of Technology) and has a professional engineer's license in civil engineering in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. He is a member of the American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation and the National Water Supply Alliance.
"I appreciate the confidence Mr. Tindall has shown me and look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with each of these departments to better serve the residents of Murfreesboro," said newly appointed Assistant City Manager and Utility Enterprises Division Director Darren Gore. "It has been a pleasure serving the citizens of Murfreesboro in providing quality water and I look forward to helping these utilities enterprises improve efficiencies and customer service."
When completed, the on-going process of reorganizing the City's administrative structure will ultimately create five new divisions, plus the existing Police and Fire Rescue departments. The goal of the realignment is to assure that coordination of process and workflow aligns with the increasing demands of a growing City.
"Utility Enterprises is the third new division announced this summer. Implementation of additional organizational changes to complete the reorganization process will occur within the next month," added Tindall.
In early July, Tindall announced the new Development Services Division with the mission of enhancing the City's economic development, focusing on re-developing downtown, utilizing tax increment financing incentives, implementing the Bottoms and Highland Avenue studies, and locating the next major planned development area. The Public Works Division, launched in early August, stresses coordination, cooperation and oversight of the engineering, development and maintenance of streets and other City projects.
A new Community Services Division overseeing the Parks & Recreation Department, Golf Department, Senior Services and outside agencies and a new Internal Services Division to include Information Technology, Human Resources, Broadcast Communications (CityTV) and Asset Management, will be announced within the next month.
Under the reorganization plan, the current 24 City departments will report to seven division executive directors, including the police and fire chiefs. This structure will shift the authority over operating decisions closer to operations, improve communications, and enhance cost efficiency with the goal of achieving excellent customer service. The five new division heads will report directly to City Manager Tindall.