Commissioners may create new jobs despite contingency fund shortfall

March 30, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll's county commissioners said yesterday they would consider creating a few new jobs next year even though the budget director recommended against it.

Budget Director Steven D. Powell said the county should not create any new jobs in fiscal 1995.

Mr. Powell made his recommendation during a work session to discuss next year's county budget. Department and agency heads have asked for 28 new positions, which are expected to cost almost $1 million.

The county needs the money in other areas, including a $2.5 million contingency fund for emergencies, Mr. Powell said. This year, much of the county's contingency money was spent on snow removal.

The county's operating budget for fiscal 1995, which begins July 1, is expected to be about $142 million. That is about 9 percent more than this year's $130 million operating budget.

County revenues, including property and income taxes, are expected to increase by almost 10 percent next year.

Budget officials have recommended departmental spending increases that include 9 percent for public schools, 8 percent for public works and about 33 percent for employee fringe benefits.

Of the 28 new employees requested, Mr. Dell and Mr. Lippy said they would consider hiring two -- a landfill bureau chief and a part-time psychiatrist for the Youth Service Bureau and Family and Children's Services.

Public Works Director Keith R. Kirschnick wants to hire a landfill bureau chief to oversee county landfills. Last week, Mr. Dell and Mr. Lippy said the position is needed, in part, to prevent employees from stealing recyclables.

Three Hoods Mill Landfill employees were arrested in November and charged with stealing recyclable metals, which were sold to a Pennsylvania recycler.

Mrs. Gouge said yesterday the landfill chief's position would be "more bureaucracy. I'm not sure what they're going to do or who they're going to oversee."

Mr. Kirschnick said the bureau chief also would deal with composting, ground-water monitoring and citizens' committees looking at long-range plans, such as the Waste-to-Energy Committee.

"I'd feel more comfortable if there was someone who could spend more time on the landfill position than I could," he said.

Currently, a landfill supervisor oversees daily operations and reports to Mr. Kirschnick. Several years ago, the county had a Bureau Chief for Solid Waste Management Operations, but that position was eliminated during a reorganization.

As public works director, Mr. Kirschnick said he does the job of that bureau chief.

Mr. Powell suggested that the landfill bureau chief's position could be an assistant public works director instead. The assistant's position was not filled when Mr. Kirschnick was promoted to director two years ago.

Mr. Kirschnick, who did not attend yesterday's work session, said he would have to talk to the commissioners before commenting on Mr. Powell's suggestion.

No salary has been set for the job.

Mr. Dell and Mr. Lippy also said they would consider hiring a part-time psychiatrist to be shared by the Youth Service Bureau and Family and Children's Services.

Kathleen Burrows, assistant director and counseling supervisor for the Youth Service Bureau, said the agencies have proposed hiring a consulting psychiatrist to work eight hours a week at a cost of $28,000 a year.

The agencies cannot offer psychiatric services now. Officials figured that about 115 children and adults in their programs needed such services last year, Ms. Burrows said.

The psychiatrist would work with the agencies' counselors, evaluate clients and recommend treatment, treat clients who need medication and provide emergency help.

The commissioners will approve a fiscal 1995 budget in May.

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