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Charter board agrees on personnel policy Article lays out guidelines for employees


WESTMINSTER -- The Charter Review Commission unanimously passed an article providing the framework for personnel policy for a new structure of county government.

The decision was the first major article of the proposed charter that has been adopted by the nine-member panel, which is writing the document that would serve as the constitution for Carroll government if approved by voters. The charter would outline the structure, powers, duties and limitations of government.

"We're trying to make a skeleton and hang things on it," said V. Lanny Harchenhorn, a committee member. "That's what we've got to do on this board or we'll never end."

The charter board approved a personnel article that would distinguish rank-and-file government positions from those that are exempt.

Employees in the exempt positions, such as department heads, would serve "at will," which means they could be terminated without an official review process. Classified employees would go through an established personnel review process.

"Our goal is to have very few exempt positions," said Co-chairman Walter C. Bay.

NB "We only want as many top-level government executives as is ab

solutely necessary," Bay said.

The article also outlines what should be included in the personnel law, such as position classifications, pay plans, a recruitment system, disciplinary procedures and other guidelines for employees.

The board discussed the makeup of the proposed county council and how to divide Carroll into districts.

A charter would replace the current commissioner form of government -- which has operated in Carroll for more than 130 years -- with a county council, which likely would be elected by district.

vTC The board decided to have an appointed manager to oversee government administration, rather than an elected executive.

Charter government allows elected officials to enact or alter county laws.

Currently, the commissioners can pass ordinances, but must go through the General Assembly, which meets for three months each year, to enact or change local laws.

The charter board has tentatively scheduled three public hearings to discuss the first draft of the document. They will take place June 30 at the Agricultural Center in Westminster, July 2 at the Taneytown Branch Library and July 7 at the Eldersburg Branch Library.

The board hopes to complete work on the document in time to place it on the ballot in November.

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