To the Editor:
I hope you are aware there is a plan to close the FSA office in Carroll County. This is supposed to help save money by consolidating offices. I am all for saving money, but as usual they are starting at the wrong place.
Carroll and Tuscarawas county FSA have shared a County Executive Director (CED) for over 15 years. This is a cost saving effort. Recently one of the employees of the Carroll FSA office moved up by attending County Office Trainee (COT) training to become a CED. She left the office in February and was replaced by another person who was hired as 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. At that time the full time temporary person should have become permanent, but because of a hiring freeze that did not happen. Now we are in August of 2011 at which time the full time person in Carroll County FSA office was offered an 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 that chose to move up and attend COT training has come back to her home office, because the state FSA office has not posted positions this person could apply for. So here we are in Carroll County with a part time CED, a full time temporary person, and the person that is waiting to apply for another position. This shows as Carroll County having no employees except a part time CED. So as you see Carroll County has done its part in cutting costs.
Now it is time Carroll County gets the employees it deserves. With the current workload, we are entitled to two full time employees and a part time CED. This has not been the case since February of 2011. Now the state office wants to shut the doors all together. Carroll County has done its part to help save for over 15 years with shared management. For the last year our office has been very under staffed, now is the time for Carroll County FSA become fully staffed and not closed.
The Carroll County FSA office has approximately 350 active customers. So 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. So we must realize this office closure will affect many more businesses besides just the FSA office. These customers will have to travel to Tuscarawas, Harrison, Stark or Columbiana Counties so they will be spending their money in these counties.
The Carroll Soil and Water Conservation District, OSU Extension, NRCS and Rural Development offices are also located in the same building. We share many resources and office equipment, again to save money. This will cause more tax payers dollars to be spent that is not necessary with this arrangement. There will be an important public meeting scheduled for February 2, 2012 at the Carroll County Friendship Center at 1:00 p.m. We need the community support at this meeting to help keep this office open. Please plan on attending.