The Carroll County commissioners appointed Douglas E. Myers, a former Manchester councilman and a civil engineer, as acting director of the county's public works department yesterday.
A county employee for 14 months, Myers brings 23 years of experience in water and sewer engineering to the post, which became vacant last week with the forced resignation of J. Michael Evans.
Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge said Myers will serve a six-month probation. She said Myers does not want to take the job permanently "until he has tried it out."
"This is a two-way street, and we feel the same way," she said.
Commissioner Donald I. Dell called Myers "a homegrown engineer right here in Carroll County," and said he was impressed with Myers' background.
Myers, a 1975 graduate of North Carroll High School, started his career working on utilities in Manchester, where he still lives. He later worked as environmental systems regional supervisor for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Before going to work for the county in May 1999, he designed and helped manage water and wastewater projects in Frederick County.
"While he worked for the state, he supervised 19 systems from Elkton to Annapolis and still managed to get his civil engineering degree at night," said Dell. "That says a lot about a person, that he is both positive and ambitious."
Myers earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Most recently, Myers has helped the county secure a water appropriations permit from the state that allows construction of a high-yield well in Sykesville, Dell said. The well will ease persistent water shortages in South Carroll.
Myers served one term on the Manchester Town Council from 1993 to 1997. The public works director supervises 170 employees and oversees the largest department in county government, with responsibility for road maintenance and improvements, water and sewer projects, and the county construction program.
Evans resigned Wednesday after five years as public works director. Commissioners Dell and Robin Bartlett Frazier insisted on the resignation, despite protests from Gouge.
The two commissioners would not discuss their reasons for Evans' termination.
Evans had been under fire for his decisions in several recent projects, most notably a wastewater treatment plant at Francis Scott Key High School and a well project in South Carroll.
Evans had been criticized for his handling of plans for an $800,000 treatment plant at Francis Scott Key.
The project was taken over by the county after it was discovered that school officials had failed to secure required state environmental and construction permits. The project is on hold.
He was also facing blame for delays in the county's acquisition of the state permits for the high-yield well in South Carroll.