Governor Steve Beshear says he's working hard to clean up the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet which is also under federal scrutiny.
Beshear says taxpayers don't get a good return on the money they spend for highways because for years and through several administrations the state hasn't insisted on it.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued the following release Thursday morning regarding proposed changes:
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), challenged to meet increasing responsibilities with fewer personnel and limited budgets, is being retooled to ensure its long-term viability and effectiveness.
The restructuring plan is designed to address continuing revenue limitations and an unprecedented number of retirements by ensuring that employees can work to maximum efficiency. Under the plan, all KYTC employees are retained with no loss of pay.
"Every year, the cabinet is forced to do more with less," said Transportation Secretary Joe Prather. "Through careful consideration and examination of many viewpoints, we have made changes, particularly within our highway department, that allow more flexibility for employees and managers while improving organizational effectiveness."
The reorganization combines the construction and maintenance functions in each district office into a delivery and preservation branch, a change that seeks to remove institutional barriers and allows for more blended job duties. "Both construction and maintenance are daily field activities," said Chuck Knowles, deputy state highway engineer for project delivery and preservation. "The types of work and workloads can
vary seasonally. This realignment will encourage employees to broaden their knowledge and skills in each area, allowing them more opportunities for advancement, while adding more value and efficiency to the cabinet."
Each of the 12 highway districts will now contain four branches: project development, two project delivery and preservation branches and engineering support. There will be two or three section offices under each project delivery and preservation branch, each having responsibility for construction and maintenance activity for one to three counties. Each county will have a maintenance facility, which will be managed by a section office.
The new structure requires that job duties and titles be changed for many positions. In some situations, new positions will be established and filled. In other cases, existing positions will have revised job duties and employees will be reclassified or laterally transferred.
No current employees will lose their jobs, and no salaries will be cut. Employees who apply for newly created positions but are not selected will be reclassified into another appropriate position.
"This will be a lengthy transition process," Gilbert Newman, state highway engineer said. "Our leadership team will work to accommodate the needs of our employees."
Newman said employees whose job locations have changed will have opportunities for lateral transfers or reclassifications.
"We've reached a point where changes have to be made in order to continue efficient operations. By realigning the functions of our staff, we'll be better able to reduce costs, provide greater consistency, maximize productivity and deliver a quality product to the citizens of Kentucky," he said.