City departments reorganized

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Brad Kerr

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Will Deaton.JPG

Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Rocky Mount's key departments of Public Works and Water Resources and Engineering and Development Services have been reorganized.

The move, initiated by City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney, means Public Works and Water Resources will now function as two separate departments. Engineering and Development Services are now split with Engineering falling under Public Works and Community Code falling under Development Services.

Effective Tuesday, the change resulted in the naming of a new director, a promotion for another employee and enhanced responsibilities for a third. Brad Kerr has been appointed director of Public Works, Brenton Bent will serve as Water Resources director and Development Services is now under the leadership of Will Deaton.

The changes were implemented to improve services to all of the city’s external and internal customers, Small-Toney said.

“Reorganizing these departments will allow for greater efficiencies and will improve accountabilities, aligning the divisions that have supporting services more closely together as opposed to across departmental lines of responsibilities,” Small-Toney said.“I am excited to reward the talents that we have within the organization, their passion and dedication to public service, and to present an opportunity for their professional development.”

This allows for all Water Resources enterprise functions, including the water plant and wastewater plant, to operate under one director. The distribution of water and collection of wastewater for treatment now functions solely in the newly formed Water Resources Department, which is now led by Bent, who has served as assistant director of Public Works and Water Resources since 2014.

Bent joined the city in 2003 as a lab technician in Water Resources. After five months on the job, he was promoted to lab supervisor. In 2011, Bent was appointed Community Code supervisor where he worked until his most recent position. As assistant director of Public Works and Water Resources, Bent oversaw the water plant, wastewater plant, Technical Services Division and Community Code. Bent received an associate degree in lab technology from the University of Technology in Jamaica, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from N.C. Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in management and leadership from Montreat College.

Engineering is now under the Public Works Department, where it will support a variety of projects and services provided by Public Works with Kerr is serving as director.

Kerr joined the city of Rocky Mount in 2003 as the assistant Public Works director and stormwater manager. In 2005, he was promoted to director of Engineering. Prior to joining the city of Rocky Mount, Kerr worked as engineering manager in the Public Works Department for the city of Greenville. He has been involved in some aspect of municipal engineering since 1991. As director of Engineering, Kerr oversaw stormwater management, traffic engineering, transportation planning and various engineering work for city departments. Kerr graduated from N.C. State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

In addition to the changes in the Public Works Department and the Water Resources Department, the Department of Development Services, under Deaton's direction, has gained a new division. Community Code has been moved under Development Services, allowing for more coordination between Community Code and Inspections.

Prior to joining the city in October, Deaton most recently served as planning and inspections director for Pinehurst, where he was responsible for the long-range comprehensive plan analyzing existing land-use, planning and inspections process improvements, as well as developing a variety of special and continuing plans relative to the growth, development and redevelopment of the village.

Deaton also worked as a senior planner in Fayetteville and assumed planning duties for the cities of Wilson, Rock Hill, S.C., and the Federal Highway Administration in the organization’s Connecticut and Georgia offices.

Deaton is a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners and a certified zoning official through the N.C. Association of Zoning Officials. He holds a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from East Carolina University.