Carrollton Parks & Recreation-Athletics Declared Competitive
The City of Carrollton Athletics Division of the Parks & Recreation Department has been declared substantially competitive, a distinction given to city departments that deliver high quality services at the lowest cost to Carrollton residents.
The road to gaining this certification included competitive and operational benchmarking and analysis of staffing, facilities and fleet, technology, best management practices, and costs of service.
“Our primary goal for managed competition was to become more efficient in how we operate the Athletics business unit,” Athletics Manager Kim Bybee said. “We focused our time on evaluating staffing levels and responsibilities, maintenance practices, and programming for both Athletics and Aquatics.”
Similar Athletic divisions in comparison cities like Farmers Branch, Grapevine, The Colony, Lewisville (Toyota Soccer Complex), and Wylie provided crucial benchmarking information, particularly for field maintenance.
Carrollton has nearly 40 athletic fields in its system, so staff modified current procedures and created a customized field maintenance schedule that addresses items such as frequency of fertilization, aeration, irrigation, mowing, top dressing, and over-seeding. New equipment was purchased in an effort to improve field quality and save on substantial costs of contract work. All changes to field maintenance procedures will be completed within the division’s current budget allocations.
“While we matched up very well in the benchmarking, this effort is more about improving existing field conditions and becoming more efficient with the resources we have,” said Parks & Recreation Director Scott Whitaker. “The team has really looked at all phases of the athletic field operations and worked diligently on an aggressive plan moving forward to improve overall turf quality.”
An essential element of the Managed Competition program is a philosophy of continuous improvement in all city operations according to Tom Guilfoy, Director of Managed Competition, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Development. “Athletics has demonstrated the ability to continuously improve the turf in public areas throughout the city.”
Further adjustments were made to the division’s staffing structure including reassigning responsibilities for efficiency as well as the addition of a seasonal staff person which was approved in the FY17 city budget process. Current Aquatics programing was found to be especially effectual. After researching companies that provide full management of aquatics facilities including staffing, cleaning, maintenance/equipment repairs, and swim lessons, it was found that the industry standard in the state of Texas for full management of a municipal aquatics facility is through a city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“Although we have been found to be substantially competitive, our job is not done,” Bybee said. “We will continue to work hard to implement the changes and improve our services to provide the best product possible to our citizens.”
The Athletics Division and the City Manager’s Office signed a three-year service agreement at a small ceremony on Monday, December 12 at the Athletics Service Center.
City Manager Leonard Martin said, “I was confident the Athletics team would learn and grow resulting in improvements in our athletic programs. I am proud of their accomplishments.”
For more information on Carrollton’s Athletics program, visit cityofcarrollton.com/parksandrec.