Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Burritt to take over PBA in January

The Knoxville-Knox County Public Building Authority Board picked a new leader to oversee its $12 million operation on Tuesday, going in-house to choose a successor for long-time Executive Director Dale Smith.

In a unanimous vote, the board hired Jayne Burritt, the office's current director of property management, to replace Smith, who is retiring Jan. 1.

She will earn $150,000 annually and direct some 130 employees who work in property management and security throughout the local government owned-facilities.

The recommendation to appoint Burritt initially came from Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett in August, although the board makes the final decision. The PBA's budget is jointly funded by the city and county.

"Dale and I want to work together for the rest of the year, so we have a smooth transition," Burritt said. "There's a lot of things to pick up from him – he’s done a great job."

Burritt said she wanted to focus on better training the PBA's employees and adding more technology to the overall operation.

"I want to better prepare the folks to help our clients in whatever way they want us to," she said. "I see us growing – we continue to get more property that we have to manage, and provide maintenance, security and custodial services."

Burritt joined the PBA in early 2008 and helps oversee security and maintenance for about 1.5 million square feet of facilities, including parking garages, downtown parking, World’s Fair Park and the City County Building. She is over roughly 100 employees and a $12 million budget.

Prior to working for the PBA, she was vice president of corporate real estate for First Tennessee Bank and was a facilities manager with CB Richard Ellis, and has 20 years of experience in property management.

Smith, who earned $194,000 in salary, told WBIR 10News that he decided to step down for a number of reasons. Foremost, though, he planned to retire in a year or so but he also had to appoint someone to replace Jeff Galyon, the authority’s former director of project management.

Galyon, who abruptly resigned in June under a cloud of controversy, was accused of manipulating bids, and spending PBA time working to benefit the downtown Blue Slip Winery, which he co-owns.

Galyon’s attorney says his client did nothing wrong and served the PBA “both professionally and ethically.”

Smith said it made more sense for a CEO who was going to be in place for a while to be the one to appoint a replacement for Galyon.

"I don’t see the project management position going away," Burritt said. "I think that's something we need to work on. We have two divisions – project management and property management. For the project side we have to regain trust and find the right leader to make the city and county feel comfortable to use us again for big project. But I think there's opportunity there."

She also will have to fill the head of security and parking manager positions.

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