Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida is the local county administrator and executive government leader. In the following article, Steve Howard of Citrus County provides an overview of the job requirements, and what your county administrator can do for you.
Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that the Public Administrator is one of those job titles that can mean a number of different things. The role can be by appointment, election, or standard hiring and can be held by individuals in the government or at a non-profit. The duties of a public administrator vary but fall under a general theme.
In general, Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that as the top appointed official in the county, the administrator is responsible for most day-to-day operations of the county, in addition to other various expectations further outlined below.
A public administrator serves to advance the common good in a community and affect positive change. The private sector skill sets most associated with the duties of a public administrator are most commonly program and project management.
Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that at the county level, a person is appointed to work as the administrative manager of a county, or in a council-manager form of county government.
In some counties, the position is titled county executive, or county chief administrative officer (CAO). Oftentimes, a public administrator will act as executor for the estate of an individual who has passed away with no relatives living or available. This can also be the case for a living person who needs someone to act on their behalf and has no living or available relatives.
A public administrator may also act on behalf of individuals who are mentally disabled and do not have a family to act as guardians or conservators. Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that they may also act on behalf of minors who have been left an inheritance and have no one else to act as conservator for the estate.
Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that some of the key responsibilities, and basic daily roles of a county administrator include, but are not limited to:
- The supervision, either directly or via designated managers, of daily operations of all county departments and staff
- Oversight of hiring, onboarding, and disciplining (in severe cases, firing) of all county employees
- Being the chief technical advisor to the council
- Preparation of county budgets, which includes proposing budget packages with option recommendations for consideration
- Public relations in the manner of meeting with citizens, business owners, and other stakeholders
- Attendance at council meetings, however the county administrator does not possess any voting rights within public council
- Operating the county with an understanding of the synergy required across various county functions
These responsibilities may vary depending upon charter provisions and other local or state laws, rules, and regulations.
Length of Service
This varies, but typically a public administrator, when appointed, serves a four-year term. The average tenure of a county administrator is roughly 8 years, which has gradually increased over the years. Although tenures may be less in smaller communities, this will vary based on region.
Skills and Requirements
County Administrators must be highly organized individuals and skilled in a variety of office-type tasks. These tasks will include basic administrative and clerical duties, as well as reception duties, for example, answering the phone and booking appointments. The public administrator also must be available “on-call” 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.
Keeping in mind that one of the goals of the public administrator is to “affect positive change”. Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that this means that their job is not fully done through simple indemnification. The client’s life should be made better as a result of their association with the public administrator. This is best done by upholding the dignity and rights of the clients they serve.
Education and Training
The requirements of a public administrator include a preferred background in education, or master’s degree in public administration, or public analysis. Social work, or similar backgrounds are also preferred. Experience as a department head in local government, or assistant to a county manager is also desirable for the role.
Since so much of their work is on behalf of the mentally disabled, some special training is also recommended. If, for no other reason, to make certain that when entering the field, any and all responsibilities can be met.
Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that more commonly and with increasing frequency, a higher degree is sought out. The range of duties and responsibilities requires a highly educated individual to meet the level of the tasks.
In order to stay up to date with the ever-changing world of mental health and administration, annual training is often recommended, if not required, and even additional training is sought out to be certain any event is handled with professionalism and to completion.
Steve Howard of Citrus County, Florida says that it takes a special kind of person to perform these tasks. A qualified individual will have an excellent command of both oral and written language as well as masterful budgetary skills. Strategic planning is essential to properly perform these tasks.
With all those requirements in mind, it is also important to know that the job of a public administrator is highly rewarding. It is not every day that a person can wake up in the morning and know that the goals and responsibilities set forth for them will allow the people in the community to live better lives. There is nothing as rewarding as that.