Hayden shuffles jobs to reduce budget shortfall

March 01, 1991|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden said yesterday that he has cut $2.6 million from county coffers by reorganizing some departments and striking 102 vacant positions from the payroll.

The job cuts, which he said will save $2.2 million, affect positions at all levels in almost every department, said County Administrator Merreen Kelly.

He noted that the biggest cuts hit the Health Department, which lost 18 positions, public works (17), law office (13), central services (12) and budget office (11).

The county's current $1.1 billion budget has roughly 8,000 government employees.

Uniformed police and firefighters escaped the ax, but four non-uniformed police positions were cut, he said.

"The intent is to cut out the waste so as not to affect county services," said Mr. Hayden.

The cuts are the third round of cost-saving packages announced by Mr. Hayden since December and bring the total saved to roughly $5 million.

However, Mr. Hayden again refused to rule out a tax increase yesterday. He faces a major expense in the school budget, which was unaffected by yesterday's cuts.

The former school board president vowed last week to keep class sizes at current levels.

But to maintain them, Mr. Hayden must subsidize a $515 million proposed school budget that calls for a $51 million increase next year.

Mr. Kelly said yesterday the county also will save $335,000 by reorganizing the Office of Family Resources, another $100,600 by eliminating the Office of Promotion and Tourism and $12,000 by printing a less expensive version of the county's annual report. Displaced employees will be transferred to other departments, he said.

Mr. Kelly said that the department reorganizations should take effect by April 1.

Department heads were notified this week of the cuts, which are effective immediately.

Joseph Cook, director of field services for the Maryland Classified Employees Association, a group that includes the 700-member county classified employees, said he will support the cuts if they mean saving union members' jobs.

"We'll support it 100 percent if it's going to avoid laying off the people already on board," Mr. Cook said.

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