Staff shortages, increased work and persistent demand for services are taking such a toll on Carroll County government employees that the director of management and budget has organized a committee to look at long-range hiring and service needs.
"We are asking agencies to provide information on what they need to provide the same level of services over the next six years," said Ted Zaleski, budget director, at a commissioners' Cabinet meeting last week. "We have to decide to provide the people or change the level of service, and we have to understand the consequences. Less people implies less service."
The county roads department has added nearly 80 miles of roads to its maintenance schedule since 1993 but has one fewer employee than it had then.
The department of general services has more than 600 pieces of equipment to oversee, up by about 200 machines from four years ago, and it has two fewer employees.
The number of county employees dropped last year to 612, down by one employee, while most metropolitan counties have added staff, officials said.
"We can't maintain the level of services with the level of staff we have now," said Benton Watson, director of the Carroll County Bureau of Roads Operations.