Board of Supervisors votes to have Parks and Recreation merge operations with General Services

Posted at 11:42 AM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 18:35:18-04
UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.
The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted to merge the county's Parks and Recreation department.
The Kern County Board of Supervisors are set to vote on merging the county's Parks and Recreation department with General Services.
General Services builds, buys, leases and manages property for the county, among other duties.
The merger would serve as a demotion for Parks and Recreation, which currently works as a stand-alone agency. If the department merges with General Services, Parks and Recreation will report directly to the Board of Supervisors and, in turn, to a subset of the General Services Division. 
The talk of a merger comes as Parks and Recreation Director Bob Lerude is set to retire in December. 
John Nilon, the Kern County Administrative Officer, says the merger between the two departments is a natural fit.
Both departments do "a lot of the maintenance and grounds keeping," Nilon said. "We're hoping through the combining of the two elements that we will find efficiency and savings."
In a letter to supervisors, Nilon said it could take years for the merger to take effect, but it will help the county reduce its cost in the department.