McKinleyville plans for management changes

Jack Durham
Mad River Union

McKINLEYVILLE – Even though the manager of the McKinleyville Community Services District doesn’t plan to retire until about three years from now, planning is already underway to make a steady transition when his replacement is hired.

The district has hired consultant Donna Wies to prepare a “Succession Plan,’ a detailed document which outlines the various duties of key positions in the organization and how individuals would be replaced if they fall ill, take a leave of absence or retire.

Greg Orsini

The creation of the document was spurred by the announcement by MCSD General Manager Greg Orsini that he plans to retire at the end of 2020. Orsini started working for the district in 1990 as a utility worker step 1, a job which involved climbing in trenches to repair sewer lines, painting and cleaning district facilities. Orsini rose through the ranks and was hired as the district manager  by the board in April 2013.

Before being picked as manager, Orsini served as the interim manager, running the district following the Nov. 10, 2012 death of manager Norman Shopay, who suffered an apparent heart attack while traveling out of the area.

The idea behind the “Succession Plan” is to have a clear process in place should the manager and other key employees leave their jobs for whatever reason.

This involves creating master lists of critical tasks, creating annual calendars and cross-training staff so they can do each other’s jobs. The plan also includes detailed job descriptions so recruitment can get underway in a timely manner for employees to replace those who have left.

In the case of Orsini, the board would begin the process of recruiting a replacement in November 2019. Orsini’s replacement would be hired in November 2020.

The consultant from Fremont who is creating the “Succession Plan" will be paid no more than $20,000. That contract includes three trips to McKinleyville and attendance at one board meeting.


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