County Reorganized, But Reasons Unclear

June 30, 1991|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff writer

When county office workers return to work tomorrow morning, they'll be part of what Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy Jr. calls a "lean, mean governmental machine."

More likely, they'll pretty much return to their jobs.

The County Commissioners on Thursday afternoon officially unveiled their much talked about -- and little explained -- governmental reorganization with the promise of improved efficiency.

But just how that efficiency is to be measured -- and what it means to Carroll residents -- remained unexplained last week.

Pressed to elaborate on claims that the reorganization -- the largest bureaucratic reshuffling of Carroll government in more than eight years -- would result in asmoother operation, the County Commissioners provided few details.

"I think, like all commissioners, we wanted to put our imprint on the government," Lippy said during the Thursday afternoon news conference.

The reorganization reduced the number of departments reporting to the commissioners from 12 to eight, although several former departments -- now offices -- also report to the commissioners.

Few changes in the plan were unveiled last week; the Department of Natural Resource Protection still is dismantled, with environmental review, recycling, solid waste management and landfill operations split up into different departments.

The Department of Public Information and Tourism remains relatively intact, except that it and its director, Micki Smith, are under the direct supervision of the commissioners' executive assistant, Robert A. "Max" Bair.

In all, the commissionerssaid, only two people will have to move to different offices.

Thecommissioners again -- as they have since revealing their reorganization plans publicly about six weeks ago -- declined to give specific reasons for the changes.

Commissioner President Donald I. Dell said Thursday that the reorganization was not prompted by any "bottlenecks or problems" in how the government was being run.

"There were no bottlenecks," he said. "All this does is make some agencies work more closely together with other agencies. The reorganization is not budget-driven, it is not personnel-driven."

He and the other commissioners have said that they expect no additional costs to be incurred because of the shuffle.

And they have not made any plans to do a cost analysis of the reorganization.

"We don't have any yardsticks to measure the reorganization," Dell said.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge has expressed some reservations over the shuffling of agencies -- especially the environmental agency -- but she is willing to see how the reorganization goes.

"With this process, we are going to geta government that works," she said.

"If it is not efficient, if it is not useful to citizens, then we'll change it."

The commissioners continued last week to downplay the shuffle.

"If you look at what we've done," Lippy said, "you'll see that we have not shaken the government to its very foundation."

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