Government connecting in newsletter

April 24, 2005

The Carroll County government has launched County Connection, a monthly newsletter, to keep residents informed of issues within the county government.

The newsletter is expected to contain articles and lists of votes of the county commissioners and meetings of numerous boards and commissions, organizers said.

"This newsletter is part of our commitment to put government actions before the public," said Commissioner Dean L. Minnich. "It puts us on the record and shows a willingness to continue a dialogue with the people we serve, to acknowledge accountability and accept responsibility for all that we do in the public interest. As a newsman, a commissioner and as a fellow citizen, I expect nothing less of elected leadership."

County Connection will be available on the county's Web site (ccgov.carr.org). Printed versions are expected to be distributed through the county's five library branches.

People who are interested in having a copy of the newsletter e-mailed to them each month can contact Vivian Laxton, the county's public information administrator at vlaxton@ccg.carr.org and write "Subscribe" in the subject line.

This month's inaugural edition of the newsletter included a list of county government accomplishments, short facts about the county, a discussion of the budget process and an agenda of public meetings.

This selection is printed with the permission of the county government:

Did you know?

Carroll County's Department of Public Works maintains 972 miles of roads.

Fifty-two county-owned dump trucks and several smaller trucks are used to plow and clear the roads after a snowfall.

In an average winter, the department uses 10,000 tons of salt on slippery roadways.

There are 92 miles of gravel roads throughout Carroll County.

The Bureau of Roads Operations maintains about 140 bridges.

Budget

Months before the county commissioners vote on a new spending plan for fiscal 2006, members of the county's Office of Management and Budget are estimating revenues, reviewing requests and developing recommendations for Carroll's $314.6 million operating budget.

The operating budget is what guides the day-to-day running of the county government. It does not include major construction projects such as building schools or libraries. Those are part of the capital budget.

Each county department submits its requests to the Office of Management and Budget by Jan. 1.

The budget staff recommends its plan to the commissioners in March. The commissioners then hold a series of meetings with agencies to discuss funding.

By mid-April, a proposed budget is presented. The public gets a chance to offer suggestions during a public hearing.

This year, that will be held at 7:30 p.m. May 10 at Carroll Community College's Scott Center.

On May 24, the board will vote on whether to adopt the budget.

Accomplishments listed

OPEN GOVERNMENT

More members of the community are participating on boards and commissions, thanks to a two-term limit.

Town leaders are communicating with county officials through the newly formed Council of Governments and quarterly meetings between the mayors and commissioners.

The governing County Code was revised and is available online.

Job classifications and pay scales also are available on the county's Web site.

Job applicants can e-mail applications for posted openings.

Zoning maps can be viewed on the county's Web site.

The cable television show Issues & Insights: Our County Government airs every two weeks.

Cable Channel 24 is ready to launch, with shows, meetings, and notices of county events.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

The Length of Service Award Program, created for long-term volunteer fire and rescue personnel, was established to be self-supporting.

A salary plan was established for county employees, with annual increments.

A 12-month tax bill payment schedule was made available online.

Anticipating future needs to upgrade or expand communications networks, an underground duct bank was installed.

An agreement was reached with Baltimore City to allow Carroll County to draw more water from the Liberty Reservoir.

Residential growth was deferred for a year to enable the county to catch up on some of its infrastructure.

COMMERCE

With the town of Sykesville, the county has secured a tenant and a commitment from the state for interchange improvements in the Warfield Development Complex.

Leasing of the county-owned corporate airport hangars reached 100 percent.

The Office of Tourism's Web site was redesigned to be easier to use and more attractive.

The airport's master plan has been revised for the next 20 years.

Rehabilitation and expansion of the airport's apron are complete.

Two major employers, Jos. A. Banks and Carroll County Foods, announced expansion projects.

EDUCATION

Carroll Community College's Nursing and Allied Health Building opened, allowing for expansion of a program that addresses a critical nursing shortage statewide.

Parr's Ridge Elementary School will open this fall, relieving crowding in Mount Airy.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.