Shuffling In County Agencies Won't Rock The Boat

Move To Consolidatecuts Departments From 12 To Eight

Services Expected To

Remain The Same

May 12, 1991|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff writer

Although last week's county agency shuffle appears drastic on paper,many Carroll officials predicted that residents will notice little if any change in their government.

"I hope the delivery of servicesdoes become more efficient," said Robert A. "Max" Bair, the $65,143-a-year executive assistant and top aide to the commissioners, as headof the Department of Administrative Services. "Hopefully, the reorganization will boost productivity."

The reorganization -- debated privately by the County Commissioners for months -- was hashed about for less than a week by administrators and released to the public Friday afternoon. The move cuts from 12 to eight the number of departments, adding three offices under the direct control of the commissioners as of July 1.

The move to consolidate government bureaucracy reflects the new Board of Commissioners' style of management and will not affect salaries of county employees or bring layoffs or reductions in services to residents, Carroll officials said.

"The commissioners came up with the concept of how they wanted the government to work," said Bair. He said this is the fifth major Carroll government reorganization he's been through in his20-year county career.

While most officials who could be reached Friday said they had been through reorganization before, some were still trying to decide whether they had gained, lost or maintained responsibilities.

Some officials expressed dismay at some of the shuffling, others were pleased their domains were left relatively untouched. Still others were -- as is typical for a Friday afternoon -- unavailable for comment.

Steven D. Powell, director of management and budget, and Jolene Sullivan, the director of the Department of Aging who will become director of the new Department of Citizen Services, were not available for comment Friday.

"There are a variety of ways of cooking the stew," said J. Michael Evans, who makes $66,900 a yearas director of permits and regulations. He will run the new Department of General Services, and will pick up at least three new responsibilities, including oversight of the county's recycling program, vehicle maintenance and public safety.

"For the most part, this is a good plan. I thrive on change," Evans said. His department was created three years ago when he joined Carroll government.

Over the next month, the county's management team will be shuffling employees, updating titles, changing budgets, and moving to and from offices as members get ready to run the revamped government.

One department that can expect to be swamped with paper work through most of June is the Department of Human Resources and Personnel Services.

"We will be changing reports, titles, personnel files," said Jimmie Lynn Saylor, the department's director at a salary of $52,854 a year. "We're prettymuch the paper work office."

Saylor said that her department's responsibilities will remain unchanged. But, in addition to updating records and files, the department will serve as a resource for any county employee disturbed by the changes.

"The commissioners have really made an effort to enact a high level of communication," Saylor said. "But my office has an open-door policy to help any employee adjustto the changes."

Management officials were told of the changes Monday, and rank-and-file employees learned of the restructuring Fridaymorning.

And while rumors and speculation about job losses or salary decreases did percolate through the County Office Building, Saylor said the rumors were not widespread.

Adjusting to the changes will be more difficult for some departments than others.

The year-old Department of Natural Resource Protection was eliminated. Its director, James E. Slater Jr., who is paid an annual salary of $51,500, will become administrator of the Office of Environmental Services, and will lose responsibility for the county's recycling and solid-waste management efforts.

His secretary said that he had no comment on the changes.

While Slater's department has been downgraded to an office and some responsibilities divided, other departments remain mostly untouched. Among them are the Department of Management and Budget, the Department of Public Works and the Department of Finance, which will change its name to the Office of the Comptroller but will have essentially the same responsibilities.

Another department that will undergo a name change and slight adjustment of responsibilities is the Department of Economic Development. James C. Threatte, who earns $47,240 a year as director of economic development, will maintain his staff of five but no longer will be in charge of the Bureau of Housingand Community Development. That responsibility will go to the newly created Department of Citizen Services.

Like Human Resources, those mostly untouched departments will have adjustments to make.

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