Trying to get grip on a growing deficit, Maryland Port Administration Director Adrian Teel today announced plans to eliminate 72 port jobs and said he has reorganized his staff.
As many as 46 people could be terminated, he said at a press conference.
Teel has asked his managers to review their staffing levels and make recommendations by Sept. 20 on which positions to cut. Teel said he is seeking a 15 percent work-force reduction at all levels.
Currently, the MPA has 467 budgeted positions but 36 of these are vacant. Teel said 10 of the positions would have to be filled because they are in critical areas such as sales. The remaining positions will not be filled, but Teel said he probably still will have to lay off an additional 46 people to meet the goals.
Teel said every effort would be made to find jobs for the employees in other areas of state government. The cuts are to take effect Oct. 31.
"If we're going to be held accountable for breaking even, we have to look at whether we're benefiting from the expenses," he said.
In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the port recorded a deficit of $2.8 million -- the third year in a row the port lost money. This year analysts have projected a $5.5 million deficit.
Teel said the reorganization and staff reductions will save about $3.1 million a year, and should reduce the projected deficit by about half that amount by next June.
Teel said he also will be looking for other ways to cut costs. Among the possibilities are cutting funds for cleaning the harbor, reducing funding for the Pride of Baltimore and moving some management offices from the World Trade Center.
In addition, Teel said efforts will be made to increase revenues, including exploring money-making alternatives for land the port owns but does not use.
The reorganization of the administration is designed to place greater emphasis on marketing, computer systems and customer service, Teel said. The job of development director was eliminated, and other positions were grouped to avoid duplication.
Teel yesterday appointed Michael P. Angelos, head of Maryland International Terminals, as deputy executive director.
Angelos, 39, joined the port in the spring of 1990 as the head of port facilities operations. He oversaw the opening of the Seagirt Marine terminal and helped negotiate a four-year contract with longshoremen.
Angelos' duties will include day-to-day supervision of the operations, marketing, administration and finance divisions of the MPA. In keeping with the effort to streamline the port administration, Angelos will continue to head Maryland International Terminals.