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News Maryland Baltimore County Towson

Kamenetz appointments reshape Baltimore County library board

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has replaced most members of the county library board of trustees, a panel that sets policy for the 19-branch system.

Five of the board's seven positions are now filled by new faces following appointments Kamenetz made last week.

The county executive did not reappoint two members the board had recommended for another five-year term: president Sharon Knecht and secretary Carol Buell. Both of their terms had expired last year.

Knecht has been outspoken regarding the Kamenetz administration's plan to transfer 28 positions from the library system to the county's Office of Information Technology. She complained to the County Council that the administration moved to transfer them without the board's approval.

The board had been considering litigation against the county over the transfers; the issue is on the panel's agenda for a meeting that's scheduled for Friday.

Kamenetz appointed three new members the board did recommend — Jane Eickhoff, Aaron Slater and Paul Schwab — to replace people whose terms were expiring: He also reappointed John Holman, an appointment the board also recommended.

Current board member Frank Regan still has a few years left in his term.

In addition, Kamenetz appointed Chip Hiebler, who is retired from the county IT office, and Mike Netzer, academic dean of the School of Applied and Information Technology at the Community College of Baltimore County.

Don Mohler, Kamenetz's chief of staff, said the addition of Hiebler and Netzer gives the board technical expertise.

Kamenetz believes "their specific skill set would be invaluable as we try to make sure Baltimore County is on the cutting edge of … implementing new technology in our library system and delivering services to our branches," Mohler said.

Knecht said the administration did not tell her why he didn't reappoint her.

"I am disappointed that the county executive did not approve my reappointment," Knecht said. "There was no explanation other than he chose to appoint someone else."

alisonk@baltsun.com

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