Baltimore Co. Council votes to cut ridesharing 2 workers lose their jobs

car pool program in limbo

July 02, 1996|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore County Council last night refused to approve spending $95,750 in federal money that pays for the county's Ridesharing Program.

The 5-2 vote to eliminate the program left two county workers suddenly without jobs and placed in limbo the state-mandated program, which promotes car pools and van pools as ways of saving energy and reducing pollution.

The program matches people who want or can provide car pool rides, administers the county's Vanpool programs and promotes ridesharing to businesses and community groups.

Patsy Brewer, a seven-year, $29,750-a-year county worker who administers the ridesharing program, was red-faced with anger and sputtering obscenities after the vote. She said the action was shocking even though several council members raised questions at last week's informal work session about how much work she and Dean Monostori, her new $23,443-a-year assistant do.

"I'm not really sure I know what their concerns are," she said, noting that J. Craig Forrest, the county's transportation planner, sent the council members a three-page explanation of their jobs after the work session.

Brewer's shock was intensified because her husband, Don Brewer, was laid off from a similar county position in 1993's job reductions. She used to work as her husband's assistant.

County Administrative Officer Merreen E. Kelly said after the meeting that he would try to find other county jobs for the two.

Forrest said much of the program's work must be done anyway because it is mandated by the federal government to help compensate for pollution produced by vehicles and factories.

Forrest noted that the council approved a separate bill authorizing the spending of $151,320 in federal, state and county funds for a companion pollution reduction program that the ridesharing workers also administer.

The action on the ridesharing bill began last night with Catonsville Democrat Stephen G. Sam Moxley announcing that he was voting "no" to protest changes in state Mass Transit Administration bus routes that have inconvenienced his constituents. The ridesharing money is passed through the MTA to the county.

Pub Date: 7/02/96

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