Commissioners OK longer search of driving records

Applicants for jobs might have old errors

Carroll County

March 01, 2002|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Concerned about liability and insurance costs, the Carroll County commissioners decided yesterday to require a complete driving record from prospective employees who would operate a county vehicle on a daily basis.

The commissioners demand a three-year driving history from prospective employees during the interview process. Expanding that requirement to a full history would cost the county about $10 to $15 per applicant.

"We've found that the three-year record may be clean, but in the fourth year or further back, there were problems," said Steven D. Powell, director of the county's Department of Management and Budget. "We need to be more careful up front. It would put us in better stead with our insurance company."

Powell told the three-member Board of County Commissioners about a county employee who recently collided with a tractor-trailer as he was making a left turn.

"This guy had made the same error in judgment three times in the past, but we knew nothing about it because his three-year record was clean," Powell said. "We didn't find out about his previous accidents until we got his complete driving record - after the accident with the tractor-trailer."

The new requirement will only affect prospective employees who would be required to drive every day as part of their job, such as road crew workers. The three-year requirement will not be expanded for other applicants who might occasionally drive a county vehicle.

In other business, the commissioners agreed to establish a procedure to allow homeowners to borrow money from the county to cover the cost of mandatory connection to the public water and sewer system. Hookups can cost up to $5,000 per home.

"Most people don't have that kind of money lying around," said Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier. "This will help a lot of people out."

The terms of the loan would be negotiated with individual homeowners, Powell said. "We just need to adopt a formal process for it."

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