(1/17) With the addition of a town planner
to the ranks of Emmitsburg town employees, one town commissioner is concerned
about the number of employees on the town payroll.
As the commissioners discussed hiring a
new town planner at a recent meeting, Commission President Chris Staiger raised
the question as to whether the town was overstaffed. No one could give him an
answer at that time.
However, an examination of the staffing at
Frederick County municipalities shows that Emmitsburg has the third highest in
the county. Emmitsburg has .72 town employees per 100 residents. Brunswick and
Frederick City both have .96. The county average is 0.79.
“When you look at other municipalities,
you have to also ask whether they provide sewer, water and other park lands,”
Hoover said. “Walkersville doesn’t even provide parks.”
Though Walkersville has more than twice as
many residents as Emmitsburg, it has two fewer employees.
Myersville and Middletown, which are the
two municipalities in the county closest in size to Emmitsburg, have ratios of
.33 and .42, respectively. In this case, municipalities that would be expected
to offer similar services are doing it in a more-efficient manner.
Staiger also acknowledges that differences
in municipal services will affect staffing.
“You’re going to need people to keep the lights on and keep water running. My
thoughts are we’re not too high with those employees,” Staiger.
His concern is with how much
administration the town has.
“People were told they needed development
to maintain infrastructure, but over the years, what I’ve seen is that extra
revenue has been to benefit the staff packages,” Staiger said.
He said direct employee costs have risen
over the years. He points, in particular, to having the town included in the
state pension plan, which required back payments. Hoover also stated this as a
possible increase for employee costs, but looking at budgeted numbers for
fiscal years 2007 and 2008, the pension payments actually fell from $31,200 to
On the other hand, direct employee costs
in the general fund rose from about 30.8 percent of the $1.5-million budget to
32.1 percent of the $1.7-million budget, an increase of nearly $67,000.
“Now that they have more money sloshing
around, they’re allocating it to employees and their packages,” Staiger said.
Hoover said he is preparing a survey to
identify Maryland municipalities that are most-similar to Emmitsburg and
compare their staffing to Emmitsburg’s.
“I’m not concerned about our numbers,
though,” Hoover added. “We’re well within reason for the services provided.”
As for the growing portion of the budget
dedicated to employee costs, Hoover said the cost manpower, insurance and
pensions continue to rise everywhere so he isn’t surprised at the increase.
Frederick County Municipal Staffing Ratios
Burkittsville 1 pt
Mt. Airy 21 ft/6 pt
New Market 3
Frederick 488 ft/153 pt
Source: Maryland Municipal League, U.S. Census
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