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Billy Boniface to become Harford County Executive Barry Glassman’s chief adviser

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, right, makes a few notes as he and Director of Administration Billy Boniface listen to input from citizens during a 2019 budget town hall. Glassman announced Monday that Boniface will be taking the role of his chief adviser.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, right, makes a few notes as he and Director of Administration Billy Boniface listen to input from citizens during a 2019 budget town hall. Glassman announced Monday that Boniface will be taking the role of his chief adviser. (Matt Button / Aegis staff / Baltimore Sun)

Billy Boniface, who has served as Harford County Executive Barry Glassman’s director of administration since he was elected in 2014, is moving into a new role as Glassman’s chief adviser, the office announced Monday.

Ben Lloyd, a senior budget analyst with the county, will become the acting director of administration.

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Boniface will be responsible for recommending, planning, directing and managing all policy initiatives of the county executive in his new role.

“As we emerge from the current COVID-19 crisis and rebuild the local economy, I am confident Mr. Boniface can help me complete the major projects I want to accomplish in my final two and a half years as county executive,” Glassman said in a prepared statement.

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The new role is focused on projects and policy rather than day-to-day operations and is advisory in nature, said Cindy Mumby, the Director of Governmental and Community Relations for Harford County.

“It will not carry fiduciary responsibilities and he will no longer be responsible for administrative approvals, for example signing off on contracts, personnel, plats, etc.,” she said. Those duties will fall to Lloyd in his new position.

The move was also, in part, a reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, Mumby said.

“COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for managing county government programs and services,” she said. Boniface will help the county executive “continue delivering high quality services amid the ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As Glassman’s chief adviser, she said Boniface will help Glassman achieve several project goals — Mumby cited the completion of the Ma & Pa trail connection, internet connectivity in northern Harford County and a fully online process for county permit and planning approvals — before his second and final terms ends.

Boniface has made clear his intentions to run for county executive in 2022 but said he has not begun campaigning for the county executive spot.

Working in an advisory role — and not having as much of a hand in the county’s day-to-day operations — will give Boniface time to campaign more, he said. The new position also allows him to run more transparently, putting some distance between him and the county’s daily operations.

“I am not in a position now where I am signing off on the day-to-day regulatory issues,” he said. “In an advisory role, it will give me the flexibility to campaign on my own time.”

Of course, Boniface said, he cannot campaign at work or use his position to influence the election. The new position also allows him to run more transparently, putting some distance between him and the county’s daily operations.

He pointed to his years in the administration and as council president as indicators of his readiness for the job. But until the election, he said he will focus on enacting Glassman’s legislative priorities.

Boniface will also continue as the county executive’s liaison to the Harford County Council. That was not an official duty of the director of administration, but one Boniface assumed because of his eight years experience as council president prior to his appointment as Glassman’s number two, Mumby said.

“He will continue to serve the county executive in that capacity,” she said.

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Boniface’s salary will not change in his new position, Mumby said. As director of administration, he was slated to make $144,437 in the current fiscal year, which began July 1. His salary in the fiscal year that ended June 30 was $142,447, according to county budget documents.

Lloyd will see a roughly $19,000 salary bump, earning $125,000 as the acting director of administration, Mumby said. His previous salary as a senior budget analyst was $106,383, she said.

Lloyd has worked with Harford County government for 13 years and holds a B.A. in political science from Towson University and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

“Mr. Lloyd has extensive roots in Harford County along with impressive technical skills to keep our budget efficiencies updated and our financial plan strong as we continue to weather these uncertain times,” Glassman said in his statement.

Boniface said Lloyd is an excellent selection for the job and that he will continue to show him the ropes of the position.

“I am fully confident that he will be able to assume the role, but I will be spending a lot of time with him to get him acclimated,” Boniface said.

Both changes became effective Monday. Lloyd will have his name forwarded to the County Council for confirmation to the new post when the council reconvenes in September.

The chief adviser position was vacant in the county executive’s office, but it is in the county government’s Classification and Compensation Plan as an option, approved by the County Council, Mumby said.

“The position is listed as ‘project manager’ and is also an option in the Department of Public Works and Community Services, in addition to the Office of the County Executive,” she said. It is an “at-will” position, she said.

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