Steve Bartlett, Maintenance Program Manager with the County of Sonoma, CA received a facilities manager recognition award from the North Bay Business Journal. As a part of this award, he was interviewed, describing the projects he oversees and his personal interests and background.
Describe the facilities you oversee: For the county government, I oversee office space, the animal shelter, morgue, juvenile and adult detention facilities, Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, biosafety laboratory, central mechanical plant, regional park buildings, veteran’s buildings, sheriff and 911 facilities, county data center and corporation yards.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am a fourth-generation Sonoma County resident who spent 20 years in general construction prior to employment with the county. In 1997 I was hired by the General Services Department as a building mechanic for facility operations and served as a project specialist for a year before becoming an assistant building superintendent in 2004. I successfully competed for the assistant facility manager position and spent a year as acting facility manager before assuming my current position.
What achievements are you most proud of? The successful projects that showcase the talent we have on our mechanic team. Together we built the biosafety lab in 88 days, secured a grant for the county that gives it greater ability to analyze potential health threats and installed water controls at our Main Adult Detention Facility that saves approximately 16 million gallons annually. Recently our team developed a simple, cost-effective method for hardening detention facility doors without extensive jamb modifications, producing large resource savings.
What is your biggest challenge today? Maintaining service expectations after severe budget cuts in fiscal year 2008–2009
What is the next major project underway or on the horizon? Installing a sewage grinder and debris-extraction system in one of our detention facilities and the transfer back of the Sutter facility when they move into their new hospital.
What product or service would help you do your job more effectively? A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and building controls as we move from a mechanical-based system to an electronic, programmables-based maintenance organization. We are trying to train our people in-house, because this training is not readily available and we have not been able to hire those with these skills in previous recruitment efforts.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years? More emphasis and commitment to improving the facilities impact on the environment, productivity and people, along with an investment in replacement of facilities and a better understanding of facilities as an asset, versus being a liability.
Most admired businessperson: Richard Branson
Current reading: Studying to be credentialed as an Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) through IFMA.
Person you most want to meet: Jesus
Words that best describe you: Handy and practical
Hobbies: I enjoy building hotrods.
Stress-reliever: Spending time on Clear Lake.
Anything to add? Over the next 10 years, there will be greater reliance on technology, public interaction with government being more transparent and accessible. Instead of having facilities in operation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., I see a coming realization that these facilities should be available to the public after 5 p.m. and on weekends. These facilities will include electric-vehicle charging stations, fuel cells, as well as public walkways, fountains, waterworks, showers, public restrooms and entertainment venues. I see a future where government facilities will not just be places limited to policy-making but where doors will be open to invite the public in as well as to share gathering places such as public parks, restaurants and retail sites.