Central Services branch is partially dismantled Lutz returning to steel business BALTIMORE COUNTY


The resignation of a key department head has led Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden to partially dismantle yet another department in his administration.

John E. Lutz, 46, who worked under Mr. Hayden for 15 years at Eastern Stainless Steel before becoming director of central services in the Hayden administration in December 1990, is returning to the steel business.

That triggered Mr. Hayden's decision to strip away about half the Central Services employees by moving their bureaus to other county agencies.

Two jobs are being eliminated, for a savings of about $125,000.

The department is the housekeeping agency of county government, providing maintenance for public buildings and buying all equipment and supplies and even health insurance for county workers.

It controls telephone and other electronic communications, the county vehicle fleet, government printing and the emergency 911 communications center.

Earlier in the week, Mr. Hayden considered eliminating the department completely, but he decided instead to move the insurance division to personnel, electronic services to public works and the 911 communications center to the budget office -- which already oversees the county's police and emergency radio network.

The new, smaller Central Services Department will keep some of its traditional work, including purchasing, printing, building and equipment maintenance and vehicle fleet management. Current Deputy Director John R. Miller will become acting director. The position he occupied will be eliminated, along with one clerk's job vacated earlier by retirement, Mr. Hayden said.

Mr. Lutz said he had "an opportunity I couldn't pass up" to go into business with two other former Eastern Stainless employees who now own Maryland Metals Processing, a steel fabrications company in the 4400 block of North Point Blvd.

Mr. Hayden praised Mr. Lutz for helping save millions of dollars in the last several years by moving the county to self-funded health insurance, eliminating 700 county telephone lines, buying telephones instead of leasing them and by having county vehicles kept longer.

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