Counties Reducing Travel and Training Budgets

A May 7 Gazette article describes how counties are reducing or eliminating their travel budgets while still attempting to provide needed training to their employees.  The article highlights how counties are struggling with their own fiscal challenges.

Employee professional development and pricey business trips appear to be victims of county budget cuts statewide.

As many county leaders face budget shortfalls and the prospect of layoffs and employee furloughs, sending a few people to a training conference just isn’t doable anymore, officials said.

“Traveling out-of-state to conferences, and in this economic climate … I’m not going to allow that to occur,” said Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold.

However, some say they are using the Internet and some creativity to provide the same professional development information to employees at a lower cost. …

In Howard County, County Executive Ken Ulman (D) has instructed department heads to only approve crucial travel and training expenses — and most of what has been approved is for public safety personnel, who need to keep their certifications current, county spokesman Kevin Enright said. …

In Baltimore County, officials also have cut training and travel budgets by about 15 percent across the board, spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said. …

Frederick County officials have made similar reductions, county spokeswoman Robin Santangelo said.

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