Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid named current county Contracts Manager Ted Coyman Jr. as the county’s new Procurement Department official, he notified the county commissioners by email on July 20. The appointment was effective immediately.
Coyman’s salary will be $93,000, a Human Resources Department spokeswoman told The Sarasota News Leader.
Former Procurement Department Director Mark Thiele had resigned June 19 after about 10 months on the job.
Coyman has participated in the implementation of changes to the procurement system, a process that is continuing, a county news release says. He was been a county employee since Sept. 26, 2011, Curt Preisser, a county spokesman, told the News Leader.
“Mr. Coyman understands that I anticipate major progress over the next six months toward our goal of creating a premier procurement system,” Reid wrote in his email. “Mr. Coyman was a finalist during an earlier external recruitment process for the [procurement official’s] position and while serving as Contracts Manager has gained valuable insight on county departmental issues,” Reid added.
In the county news release, Coyman said, “We have good people who are working hard to improve the system, and we are making progress.” He added, “We are a service-oriented function and that means we need to provide a best-in-class product to all areas of county government and vendors, and we need to do it with complete transparency.”
“I have confidence that Mr. Reid has been thoughtful in his selection and I look forward to working with Mr. Coyman and finishing the implementation of the NIGP recommendations,” commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson told the News Leader.
Robinson was referring to the 151 recommendations the county received after the commission last year requested the National Institute of Government Purchasing review the Procurement Department’s practices.
The request followed news of illegal and unethical practices in the department.
Coyman has worked with procurement departments in both the public and private sector, obtaining accreditation as a Certified Professional Public Buyer, the county news release says. He is a member of the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials and has a security clearance from the U.S. Department of Defense.
In his email to the commissioners, Reid wrote, “Ted has earned the respect of peers on local, state and federal levels [as well as] in the private sector. His extensive experience in the areas of procurement, contract management and administration, construction, design and build management, project management and program operations will continue to serve our community well.”
Reid also pointed out in the email that he and Deputy County Administrator Bill Little had “talked extensively with Ted and we are impressed with his vision of moving Procurement forward in a manner that is ethical and transparent for both taxpayers and vendors.”
“I have heard good things about him,” Commissioner Joe Barbetta told the News Leader. “Hopefully, he’s got enough background [from having been on staff] that he can straighten things out” in the Procurement Department.
“The past couple of years,” Barbetta added, “this procurement issue has dominated county government.”
Yet, he said, the county has many other issues on which it needed to focus as well.
Reid’s email to the commission said, “We will make additional staffing changes as necessary to continuously improve our processes and produce the final versions of our new Procurement Code and Manual.”
Reid added, “Training likewise will be focused on new procedures for key employees ….”