Carroll government will assume a new appearance July 1, when a reorganization plan proposed by the County Commissioners takes effect.
The commissioners say Carroll residents won't notice much difference in services because the changes involve "internal workings."
Improving efficiency is the catch-all reason the commissioners have offered for shuffling tasks among departments and creating new agencies with new leaders.
But some residents, business people, environmentalists and even county employees are unsatisfied with the rationale for the changes offered by the commissioners thus far and consequences for the future.
As one county employee said, "We're all still walking around in a fog."
Environmentalists have expressed concern that the fledgling Department of Natural Resource Protection has been abolished, its responsibilities reassigned to four separate departments; and developers have wondered why the commissioners tampered with the development review process, which they say had improved considerably in recent years.
The plan proposed by the commissioners is subject to change by July 1, and again during the ensuing six months.
Last Sunday, Carroll County Sun reporters Adam Sachs and DarrenM. Allen examined the overall restructuring plan, with a focus on the environmental and development review issues.
In today's conclusion of the seven-part series, they compare Carroll's government structure with surrounding jurisdictions'.
They also investigate the financial implications of the restructuring and the legal and ethical questions it raises.
Please send your comments on this series to: Carroll Shuffle, The Carroll County Sun, 15 E. Main St., Westminster, 21157-5052; you also may fax your comments to us at 876-0233.