There is a plan to close the FSA office in Carroll County to help save money by consolidating offices. I am all for saving money, but they are starting at the wrong place.
Carroll and Tuscarawas county FSA have shared a county executive director for more than 15 years as a cost saving effort. Recently one of the employees of the Carroll FSA office moved up by attending county office trainee training to become a CED. She left the office in February and was replaced by a temporary full-time person.
The person who moved up had six months to change her mind and come back to her original office, which she did not wish to do. Because of a hiring freeze, the full-time temporary person did not become permanent.
In August 2011 the full-time person in Carroll County FSA office was offered early retirement, which she chose to accept. That position was never filled, because of the hiring freeze.
So now Carroll County has a full-time temporary person, and the person who chose to move up and attend COT training has returned to her home office, because the state FSA office has not posted positions this person could apply for.
So Carroll County has a part time CED, a full time temporary person and the person who is waiting to apply for another position. This shows as Carroll County having no employees except a part time CED.
So Carroll County has done its part in cutting cost. Now it’s time Carroll County gets the employees it deserves. With the current work load we are entitled to two full-time employees and a part time CED. This has not been the case since February 2011. Now the state office wants to shut the doors. Carroll County has done its part to help save with saved management for more than 15 years. For the last year the office has been very understaffed, now Carroll County FSA should become fully staffed, not closed.
The Carroll County FSA office has approximately 350 active customers. When they come to the local office, I am sure they stop and get gas, maybe lunch, a few groceries and of course supplies at the Farmer’s Exchange and Tractor Supply. We must realize this office closure will affect many more businesses other than the FSA office.
These customers will have to travel to Tuscarawas, Harrison, Stark or Columbiana counties, so they will spend their money in these counties. The Carroll Soil and Water Conservation District, OSU Extension, NRCS and Rural Development offices are in the same building. We share many resources and office equipment — again to save money. This will cause more tax payer’s dollars to be spent than are necessary with this arrangement.
A public meeting is scheduled for Feb. 2 at the Carroll County Friendship Center at 1 p.m. We need community support at this meeting to help keep this office open. Please plan on attending.
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