What re­or­ga­niz­ing county gov­ern­ment means for you

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Michael D. Malli­noff is the county ad­min­is­tra­tor for Charles County Gov­ern­ment

Your county gov­ern­ment works to pro­vide the high­est qual­ity cus­tomer ser­vice pos­si­ble in a timely, ef­fi­cient, cour­te­ous man­ner. Our goals are to up­hold this mis­sion, make tran­si­tions seam­less and avoid in­ter­rup­tion to res­i­dents’ ser­vices. One re­cent tran­si­tion is the county’s re­or­ga­ni­za­tion, ef­fec­tive July 2016. The pur­pose of the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion is to pro­vide more ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient gov­ern­ment ser­vices to res­i­dents.

The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion uni­fied di­vi­sions with sim­i­lar roles and mis­sions to cre­ate a sim­pli­fied, more res­i­dent-friendly county gov­ern­ment. As a re­sult, sev­eral di­vi­sions moved to new or dif­fer­ent de­part­ments. The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion cre­ated the new De­part­ment of Recre­ation, Parks and Tourism, which brings to­gether three leisure-re­lated di­vi­sions. The Cap­i­tal Ser­vices Di­vi­sion is now within the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works. This change will im­prove staff’s abil­ity to work to­gether on cap­i­tal projects; co­or­di­nate with en­gi­neers, con­trac­tors and reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties; and pro­vide safe in­fra­struc­ture for the com­mu­nity. Ad­di­tion­ally, the Trans­porta­tion Di­vi­sion re­lo­cated to the De­part­ment of Plan­ning and Growth Man­age­ment. The ad­just­ment will al­low for bet­ter co­or­di­na­tion of pub­lic tran­sit ser­vices along­side long-range trans­porta­tion projects.

By in­te­grat­ing di­vi­sions with sim­i­lar func­tions, we are work­ing to elim­i­nate du­pli­ca­tion of ser­vices. Sev­eral di­vi­sions phys­i­cally moved to new lo­ca­tions to en­hance cus­tomer ser­vice. One ex­am­ple is the De­part­ment of Recre­ation, Parks and Tourism. Prior to the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Parks Di­vi­sion and Recre­ation Di­vi­sion were sep­a­rate from the Tourism Di­vi­sion. The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion moved these di­vi­sions into the same build­ing, which now serves as a one-stop shop for all your leisure needs.

An­other ben­e­fit of con­sol­i­dat­ing ser­vices is clar­ity when res­i­dents have ques­tions. It is county gov­ern­ment’s goal to be ac­ces­si­ble, but this can be dif­fi­cult when di­vi­sions per­form­ing re­lated func­tions are sep­a­rate. Com­bin­ing di­vi­sions with sim­i­lar ser­vices mean fewer phone num­bers to call and of­fices to visit for as­sis­tance. Closer prox­im­ity al­lows di­vi­sions with in­ter­con­nected func­tions to work to­gether more co­he­sively, and quickly and ac­cu­rately an­swer res­i­dents’ ques­tions. In ad­di­tion to con­sol­i­dat­ing ser­vices, the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion sought to bring our struc­ture in line with other ju­ris­dic­tions of sim­i­lar size and ser­vice scope. Using other coun­ties as a guide al­lows county gov­ern­ment to learn from other coun­ties’ suc­cesses and short­com­ings to bet­ter serve our res­i­dents.

The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion was a thought­ful process with con­sid­er­a­tion to the res­i­dents, staff struc­ture and the com­mis­sion­ers’ short- and long-range goals. It was de­ter­mined the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion was the best way to ful­fill these needs. These changes set the foun­da­tion for a more ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient county gov­ern­ment for our res­i­dents now and in years to come. We en­cour­age you to visit our web­site at www. CharlesCoun­tyMD.gov to learn more about the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion and how your county gov­ern­ment is work­ing for you.

In­side your county gov­ern­ment

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