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County Executive Owens’ Personnel Officer Steps Down

Annapolis, MD (August 2, 2006) - Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens announced Personnel Officer Mark Atkisson will be stepping down to accept a position with the Federal Government. Effective August 21, 2006, he will be working in Washington, DC, for the National Capital Region of the General Services Administration.

"Mr. Atkisson will be sorely missed," said County Executive Owens. "He accomplished so much in his six years as Personnel Officer with the County, from automating the recruitment process, negotiating multiple union contracts with the labor groups, to revising the health insurance plan design. I wish him great success in his future endeavors."

Some of the Personnel Departments’ major accomplishments under the direction of Mr. Atkisson are as follows:

Employment Services/Employee Development

  • Automated the recruitment process, from requisition through the hiring process.
  • Improved recruitment outreach to women and minorities.
  • Provided the human resource support and impetuous to the Local Government Personnel Association to develop a comprehensive online annual salary survey of local governments. This has been key to the conduct of union negotiations and classification/compensation studies.
  • Developed a first class web page placing all vital personnel related information at the employees’ fingertips.
  • Established a comprehensive training program for employees and management.

Labor/Employee Relations

  • Negotiated multiple union contracts with the labor groups. Most significantly, negotiated 10 three-year contracts for the period July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2007, which has resulted in an extended period of labor/management stability.
  • Established a non-represented employees advisory group to improve communications between management and the non-represented employees.
  • Established partnership meetings where the ten employee groups and the non-represented employees advisory group would meet quarterly with the Personnel Officer to exchange information and resolve issues. This resulted in significantly improved labor/management relationships.
  • Consolidated all personnel policies and procedures in a comprehensive Employee Relations Manual (ERM) and implemented a procedure to provide periodic updates.
  • Established a formal Exit Interview process to provide feedback on the effect the County’s managers and policies have on retention.

Benefits and Support Services

  • Developed a pension and benefits database, which converted the paper files to electronic files, increasing the efficiency of pension and benefits data management.
  • Transitioned from a mainframe DOS based legacy payroll and HRIS system to a state of the art, outsourced, web based, hosted, HRIS system, which enabled the automation of the timekeeping function as well as payroll services.
  • Revised the health insurance plan design, which included the introduction of the Triple Choice health plan and mail order pharmacy, which has resulted in controlling the cost increase for health care to under 10% for the last three years.
  • Recodifed the pension article of the county code to increase its understanding and eliminates ambiguities and developed Summary Plan Documents for the four pension plans.

"Mr. Atkisson has aided me in bringing Anne Arundel County Government into the 21st Century. Mark’s contributions to this County will be long lasting," said County Executive Owens.

Mr. John P. O’Connor will become Acting Personnel Officer. "Mr. O’Connor’s personnel experience is exceptional, and I am honored to have him step in as Personnel Officer during the remainder of my term," said Ms. Owens.

Mr. O’Connor has served as Assistant Personnel Officer for three years in the County, after serving the State for eight years as Secretary of Labor and Commissioner of Labor and Industry.

John O’Connor’s new position will become effective August 21, 2006.


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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000