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Cuts May Cost Prince George's County

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By Stephanie Kaye

Critics say recent layoffs in Prince George's County could end up costing the county more money.

Karl Berntson was the county's energy manager, tasked with helping Prince George's save on utility costs. The 60-year-old was one of about 50 workers laid off recently by County Executive Jack Johnson after large cuts in state aid.

The county will save Berntson's $95,000 annual salary, but some county council members say the move was shortsighted. Berntson says the county spends millions of dollars every year on utilities in county buildings, and he estimates he could have helped reduce that by 25 percent over time.

The county executive's spokesman says an experienced contractor is now handling the search for energy savings.

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