FirstNet approves expanded budget, new leadership structure
WESTMINSTER, Colo.—FirstNet board members yesterday approved resolutions calling for an expanded budget for the rest of the fiscal year and the establishment of a paid-staff organizational structure, as requested by new General Manager Bill D’Agostino.
Chairman Sam Ginn and several other FirstNet board members referenced the vote as a significant step in altering the role of the FirstNet board. Prior to D’Agostino’s hiring at the previous FirstNet board meeting on April 23, board members had to do much of the work related to the FirstNet mission, with support from paid consultants and members of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). With additional funds and an approved organizational chart, D’Agostino can hire the staff members needed to allow board members to act simply as directors.
“With those two things in place, I believe that I have the launching pad to move forward into the development of a leadership team, the organization that falls underneath that leadership team, and can take the first steps in transitioning the roles and responsibilities that you’ve been performing into the more traditional management structure,” D’Agostino said during the meeting.
The budget resolution would increase authorized spending to $20 million and obligations to $50 million for fiscal year 2013, subject to the board’s approval of the acquisition strategy. D’Agostino said he plans to present a budget for fiscal year 2014 during the August meeting of the FirstNet board, and hopes to have his leadership team in place by September.
Both resolutions were approved without objection from any board members, but board member Paul Fitzgerald abstained from both votes, noting that he was unable to participate in portions of a preliminary meeting on Monday in which details of the resolutions were discussed. Although Fitzgerald abstained from the votes, he said during the meeting that he is “very encouraged by the very proactive approach [D’Agostino] is taking and the leadership he is demonstrating.”
Ginn expressed similar support.
“FirstNet is entering a new phase as we work to stand up this organization,” Ginn said in a statement. “I’m confident that Bill is taking us in the right direction and look forward to getting these critical staff on board as expeditiously as possible.”