Ex-director of finance: Frederick County budget woes overstated

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Source: Frederick News Post
Author: Bethany Rodgers
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Date Published: 08/02/2011

The county’s former finance head on Monday challenged portrayals of Frederick County’s fiscal woes that local leaders have used to support the need for budgetary overhaul. John Kroll, who said he resigned under pressure Thursday as director of the finance division, stood by his previous position that county budget forecasts show structural deficits that deserve attention, but added that “it’s not as big a problem as it’s been made out to be.” Commissioners President Blaine Young has cited structural deficits — which Kroll said occur when the county must use one-time revenues to cover for ongoing expenses such as salaries and benefits — to explain why Frederick County leaders are exploring cost-cutting measures such as outsourcing large chunks of government services. The commissioners’ look at privatization has triggered intense debate and a torrent of criticism from county employees. Kroll said he believes it is a “distinct possibility” that his departure from county government came as retaliation against him after an employee in his division publicly contested Young’s statements about the structural deficit. Commissioner David Gray expressed a more decisive opinion.