County re-organization starts at top

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New County Administrator John Titkanich and the County Commission have set out to reorganize the county government to better manage resources and be responsive to a rapidly growing population, and that’s already started with changes at the top. 

When County Attorney Dylan Reingold’s resignation becomes effective on Aug. 9, Deputy County Attorney Bill DeBraal will fill that position on a one-year employment agreement.

“I’ve worked with Bill for 20 years. After watching him work so hard for 20 years, to have him lead the county attorney’s office is exciting for me,” said assistant county administrator Michael Zito. “He not only will serve the county well but he’ll be instrumental in selecting our next county attorney.”

DeBraal’s position will be filled by Susan J. Prado, who has been with the Indian River County attorney’s office since 2019. 

In the new budget year which starts Oct. 1, Titkanich is adding two top leadership positions in his own office – an assistant county administrator for infrastructure and development, and an ombudsman who “will be available to work with our everyday citizens trying to navigate the development review process.”

This reorganization will shift Zito to deputy county administrator, where he will oversee citizen services, encompassing Community Services (formerly General Services); Parks, Recreation & Conservation; Emergency Services; and the Sandridge Golf Course.

“I’m very excited about the challenges that lie ahead,” said Zito, who served as the interim county administrator until Titkanich’s hiring.

“The six months without having both a county administrator and an assistant, that was a challenge for me because there was no deputy there,” Zito said. “It also, as many challenges do, presented the opportunity to look at the organization and to restructure it. Once John got here, he elevated that mission to what we’re rolling out.”

In Zito’s upcoming position change, which will go into effect on Oct. 1, he will also be in charge of special projects and events, alongside a newly created tourism liaison role. 

The management changes also reflect some succession planning, as Zito, DeBraal and other longtime county employees with massive institutional knowledge are nearing retirement.

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