County Departmental Merge Gets Final OK

At their Aug. 3, 2011 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners gave final approval to a major consolidation of three county departments: the office of community development (OCD); the economic development & energy department; and the employment training and community services (ETCS) department. An initial vote of approval had been taken at their July 6, 2011 meeting, though some commissioners had asked for more details about the proposed changes, which would take effect on Jan. 1, 2012. [.pdf of responses to commissioner questions]

OCD director Mary Jo Callan will lead the new office of community & economic development. The goal is to cut costs by eliminating duplicated services in the face of declining revenues, while finding ways to deliver those services more efficiently to citizens. The change resulted in a net loss of nine jobs. However, jobs in other departments have been found for all but one of the affected employees. Diane Heidt, the county’s human resources manager, said she’s continuing to work to find a position for that employee.

Commissioners were briefed on the restructuring at a May 5, 2011 working session, and also discussed it at a June 28 agenda briefing.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow.