Frederick County Lays Off Dozens To Address Budget Problem

Frederick County announced Friday its decision to reduce the county workforce, in an effort to address a nearly $12 million shortfall in its FY 2012 projected budget. A press release on the actions details the decisions, in a budget context:

In the next step to reduce the budget deficit, the board today announced a reduction to the Frederick County Government workforce of 38 full-time positions, a move that impacts employees in almost all divisions.

Board President Blaine Young said, “We are exploring every opportunity to reduce our deficit and correct the structural problem where we’re spending more money than we’re taking in. As a result of our recent actions, the county commissioners will be able to present a balanced budget on March 8 without raising property taxes or the fire tax.

“We deeply regret that the budget crisis has necessitated today’s action to reduce our workforce, but the reality we faced is that salaries and benefits account for a large part of the county budget and had to be decreased. At the beginning of this year we notified employees that difficult decisions would be made; we commend them for doing more with less and continuing to provide outstanding service to our residents.”

Read the press release here.

Frederick County government has approximately 3,000 total employees. The elimination of 23 filled positions as a share of that size workforce would be equivalent to the state government’s executive branch (about 50,000 employees) eliminating positions for some 400 active employees. To date, the State has eliminated a limited number of active employee positions, but has instead focused on temporary furloughs and other cost-saving measures.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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