Douglas E. Myers, Carroll County's director of public works since 2000, has resigned and will leave the county's employ March 9.
Myers, a civil engineer who led a staff of about 170 employees, has worked for the county since 1999. He informed the commissioners and his staff of the decision Friday.
"This is totally my decision," Myers said yesterday. "I don't take this leaving lightly, and I did not decide overnight. The timing is right for me, and everything is working well here."
Myers, 48, is not leaving for another job, but rather to help care for his ailing mother and to tend to several home projects. He does not plan to seek another job for several months, he said.
"Who knows where I will pop up?" he said. "Maybe I will look for a completely different change, maybe even in the private sector."
Myers, who earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, has nearly three decades of experience in dealing with water and sewer projects, nearly all of it in government.
He started his career working on utilities in Manchester, where he still lives. He served one term on the Manchester Town Council in the mid-1990s.
He later worked as the environmental systems regional supervisor for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Before joining Carroll County's engineering department in May 1999, he designed and helped manage water and wastewater projects in Frederick County.
As public works director, Myers oversees the largest department in county government, with responsibility for road maintenance and improvements, water and sewer projects, and the county construction program.
"He is leaving on good terms," said Vivian D. Laxton, public information administrator for the county. "His experience certainly will be missed."
Myers is the third department director to resign within the past six months. John T. "Jack" Lyburn left the Department of Economic Development in August and the county's longtime comptroller, Eugene C. ""Gene" Curfman, retired in October.
Myers has dealt with several contentious issues, including the dismantling of one wastewater treatment facility for Francis Scott Key High School and the planning of another, problems with effluent temperature at the Hampstead wastewater treatment plant and persistent water shortages in South Carroll.
Myers has overseen negotiations with Baltimore City and with the state to augment the water supply in South Carroll.
As one of his last official acts, he hopes to sign an agreement with Baltimore City that will allow the county to proceed with plans to expand the Freedom Area Water Treatment Plant. The $14 million project would double the capacity of the plant in Eldersburg.
"I will miss the chance to solve problems for people," Myers said. "I like the accomplishments that I have been able to do."