County Comment: Commissioners Announce Administrative Changes

County Comment
Commissioners Announce Administrative Changes
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners has announced organizational changes designed to assist in management of public works projects.
Effective Monday, February 26, Joseph Kroboth III, P.E. became the Director of the Division of Public Works (DPW) and Gary W. Rohrer, P.E. assumed the post of Director of Special Projects (DSP).
The Director of Special Projects will report to the County Administrator and will provide guidance to the Commissioners and County Divisions and Departments on major initiatives needing to be addressed that affect the future of Washington County.
Rohrer, who has been DPW for 15 years, was tapped by the Commissioners to provide expertise to the new Board and to incoming County Administrator Greg Murray as challenges emerge.
"I'm excited about it. After hearing Greg Murray's ideas on those challenges facing us I feel I will be able to assist the Board in addressing those issues in a very positive way," Rohrer said.
Rohrer said the first assignments will involve special legislative issues in Annapolis, and working with the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo). Transportation funding for highways, infrastructure development, and environmental needs will all be on Rohrer's DSP plate.
Commissioners' President John Barr cited large Capital Improvement Projects such as the Maugans Avenue upgrade, the intersections of Dual Highway at Edgewood Drive and Mount Aetna Road, and finalization of capping of Resh Road Landfill as some of the items Rohrer will be dealing with.
Barr lauded Rohrer's wealth of knowledge and expertise from 32 years in engineering and construction of public projects. Rohrer joined Washington County government in 1989 as Director of Planning and Codes, and became the first Director of Public Works in 1992.
Barr said, "I'll have a lifelong friend in the office beside me to help give me guidance and be my emissary."
New County Administrator Greg Murray said, "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to have someone with that level of experience working with me to move forward specific projects that will have long-lasting impact on Washington County."
Rohrer holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Frostburg State University, and the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Joe Kroboth, who has 26 years experience with Washington County and the City of Hagerstown governments, takes the reins as Director of Public Works, with seven departments: Transportation, Highways, Water Quality, Engineering, Solid Waste, Buildings Grounds and Parks, and Communications Maintenance under his supervision. Kroboth has served as Deputy Director of DPW since 2005, was Director of the Department of Emergency Services from 2001-2005, and came to the County as Assistant County Engineer in 1990. He was Assistant City Engineer for Hagerstown prior to his County employment.
He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Frostburg State University, a Bachelor's of Science in Civil/Structural Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and Associates degrees in Engineering Science and Engineering Technology from Hagerstown Community College.
He is a licensed Professional Engineer, Professional Land Surveyor, Federal Highway Administration Bridge Inspection team leader/manager, Fire Protection Specialist by the National Fire Protection Association, and State of Maryland Level II Emergency Services Instructor.
He is a member of numerous professional associations and groups, Past President of the County Engineer's Association of Maryland and was recently chosen by the National Transportation Research Board to deliver the keynote address at the National Traffic Incident Management Conference held in Newport Beach, CA.
Kroboth acknowledged the years of service Gary Rohrer has given to the County as Director of Public Works, and said his number one priority on taking the Division helm is "ensuring a safe work environment for our Public Works employees and preserving our system of infrastructure".
Major concerns for Kroboth will be continuing the aggressive maintenance programs for County highways, water and wastewater issues, strategic planning initiatives to preserve the public works infrastructure and position the County for it's future needs. Of particular importance is preserving the life of the 40-West landfill and completing the comprehensive Public Safety Radio Communications project.
"Continued funding of our capital improvement program is a growing challenge for our County. Building partnerships and leveraging resources from the various levels of government in our region will be the key to our success," Kroboth said.
Rohrer and his family live in Boonsboro, and Kroboth and his family are residents of Hagerstown.