Anne Arundel Co.'s public works director retires

Anne Arundel County's director of public works is retiring after three decades in county government.

Ron Bowen is retiring at the end of the month, County Executive Laura Neuman said on Friday.

Bowen initially announced his retirement in March shortly after Neuman was appointed county executive. She replaced John R. Leopold, who resigned following his conviction of misconduct in office.

Neuman convinced Bowen to change his mind.

"I asked him to stay during the immediate transition," Neuman said. "It was important time for him to stay on board."

The Department for Public Works will be responsible for handling the county's new stormwater fees, which will pay for scores of projects to retrofit old stormwater holding ponds and rehabilitate streams damaged by decades of uncontrolled stormwater pollution.

The County Council is expected to finalize tweaks to the stormwater fees on Monday night.

Neuman said she's interviewing candidates both from within and outside county government. She hopes to hire a permanent public works director by July 1.

The public works position is one of several high-profile jobs in county government that are not permanently filled.

Acting directors are leading the departments of health, central services and inspections and permits. The police and fire departments are run by acting chiefs.

Neuman said she wants to make sure she makes the best choices in hiring, "not just filling a spot."

"I want to hire the best person for each job. I'd rather wait to find the best person," she said.

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