Public works chief named for Sykesville SOUTHWEST--Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

July 15, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Sykesville has created the position of supervisor of public works, and Eugene E. Johnson Jr. is stepping up to the job.

The 27-year-old town resident, who has served as maintenance supervisor for three years, said experience warns him that the job will entail more responsibility and longer hours.

"I know what is in store, and I know the town and its policies," he said. "When it gets tough, I know how to get tough with it."

He calls keeping pace with growth his hardest task. The mayor said that growth is the reason behind the new position.

"I wanted an employee to monitor growth as more homes come on line for town services," said Mayor Kenneth W. Clark. "Mr. Johnson's job will be to keep me informed so we know at what point services are maxing out."

Mr. Johnson said he plans to make one budget request: pagers for everyone on his staff.

"We want to have someone on call all the time," he said.

Mr. Clark said a fatal accident on July 1, when 1,800 gallons of fuel leaked onto Route 32 near Sandosky Road, accentuated the need for a public works supervisor.

"We needed one person to set schedules, whom we could call 24 hours a day and who would know where everyone else was," said the mayor.

Mr. Clark calls the promotion "just a restructuring in the department."

"We needed additional supervisory effort in this area, and Mr. Johnson showed the most interest in the position," the mayor

said.

He said the change does not reflect adversely on Randy Hughes, supervisor of the Bureau of Sanitation for 12 years, who will now report to Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Hughes is relieved of supervisory responsibility with no cut in his pay of about $10 an hour. James L. Schumacher, town manager, said he had discussed the position a year ago with Mr. Hughes, who had declined to be considered.

"This will give Mr. Hughes more time to devote to recycling, where he is really needed," said Mr. Schumacher.

With Mr. Hughes concentrating on recycling, the town hopes to double its recycling percentages -- which have been declining -- Mr. Schumacher said.

Sykesville, the only town in the county that collects its own refuse, instituted weekly curbside recycling about a year ago. The municipal trash crews serve 1,200 homes.

As public works supervisor, Mr. Johnson will be responsible for the sanitation, roads and parks departments. His staff numbers four, but "we are talking about adding one more," he said.

"This is a tremendous work load for five people," said Mr. Schumacher. "If we have 100 things to do in one day, we need someone who can delegate and get it all done."

The Town Council approved the appointment of Mr. Johnson after its session Monday, said the mayor.

Mr. Johnson, who will report directly to Mr. Schumacher, will receive no immediate raise in his roughly $8-an-hour salary and will be on probation for six months.

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