Where Will Departmental Consolidation Savings Come From?
Based on the 2014 sunset review of County government by the County Manager, a County Council committee voted to move forward with the recommendation that the Department of Real Estate be absorbed into the Department of Administrative Services. The former is what became of the independent row office called the Recorder of Deeds, and the thought is that its role would mesh better in the latter, which is almost a “catch all” department that handles multiple functions, including property assessment.
The estimated savings of such a move is $250,000 a year. To put that in perspective, the large Admin Services Department spends $226,000 on supplies. In terms of headcount, Admin Services has four times as many employees as Real Estate (226 to 50 full timers). Based on salaries and fringe benefits, the average employee in Admin Services costs $64,159 and the average employee in Real Estate costs about $10,000 less. That means if the $250,000 is to be saved by having an employee handle the responsibilities of another it could mean 4 or possibly 5 employees could be let go or not have their positions filled after consolidation.
If they leave personnel costs alone (wages/fringes total $14.5 million for Admin Services, $2.7 million for Real Estate) and the $250,000 is to be saved from non-personnel expenditures, there is a total of close to $2.8 million in those categories (services, supplies, materials, repairs/maintenance, and minor equipment). That means the savings would amount to about 10% of the total of the non-personnel amount.