Harford's Glassman announces final cabinet choices, eliminates chief of staff

Harford County executive-elect Barry Glassman has made his cabinet choices as he prepares to take office as Harford's seventh county executive on Dec. 1.
Harford County executive-elect Barry Glassman has made his cabinet choices as he prepares to take office as Harford's seventh county executive on Dec. 1. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Harford County's incoming county executive has completed making his appointments to lead county departments and is planning to rearrange at least one part of the county administration.

Barry Glassman, elected county executive Nov. 4, announced the last of his cabinet level appointments Tuesday afternoon.


Glassman previously announced several appointments, including naming outgoing County Council President Billy Boniface the director of administration, considered the county government's number two post.

The latest group of appointments include Edward Hopkins, director of emergency services; James Malone, director of parks and recreation; Timothy Whittie, director of public works; Bradley Killian, director of planning and zoning; Karen Rottmann, director of procurement; Leonard Parrish, director of housing; and Melissa Lambert, county attorney.


Whittie is the only member in the current group being held over from the outgoing administration of County Executive David Craig. Lambert was serving as the county council's attorney and Hopkins was the chief deputy in the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

"I think, when you look at it overall, about one-third of the folks are promotions from current departments," Glassman said, adding he kept about one-third of existing directors and another one-third are new. Glassman will succeed Craig, who has led Harford's government for a record nine and a half years, on Dec. 1.

Killian will replace Pete Gutwald at planning and zoning. A Harford resident, he most recently worked as a planning supervisor for Howard County.

Malone, who is retiring from the House of Delegates after 20 years representing Baltimore County, was a longtime legislative colleague's of Glassman. He will replace Arden McClune who is retiring.


Rottmann will replace Deborah Henderson at procurement. She formerly worked in the department she will now run and has worked in the private and public sectors.

Hopkins is replacing Russell Strickland at emergency services. In addition to his prior service with the Sheriff's Office, he is a longtime volunteer fireman and chief officer and is an elected member of the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners.

Lambert will replace Robert McCord as head of the law department, which McCord has headed for more than a decade.

Parrish is a real estate broker. He will replace Shawn A. Kingston.

Boniface will replace Mary Chance, who is retiring after 28 years with the county.

"I have known Billy Boniface since our early days together as volunteer firemen," Glassman said in a statement. "I have watched him grow as a leader throughout his three decades of public service.Then, as now, I know him to be a man of integrity and personal strength who shares my work ethic and profound devotion to the county of our birth."

The earlier appointments announced by Glassman include:

Amber Shrodes, director of the Harford County Public Library Foundation and wife of County Councilman Chad Shrodes, will be at the helm of the Department of Community Services, which has had an acting director since the summer resignation Elizabeth Hendrix.

Jim Richardson will be leaving the Office of Economic Development to lead the Department of Human Resources, replacing Janet Schaub. Richardson, a key figure in northern Harford County politics, was human resources director in the administration of former county executive Jim Harkins from 1998 to mid-2005.

Karen Holt, who has served as the county's BRAC manager, is taking over Richardson's role at the head of the Office of Economic Development.

Robert Sandlass will replace Kathryn Hewitt as county treasurer, while plans reviewer Paul Lawder will become the new director of the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits, replacing Richard Lynch, a veteran of three county administrations.

Sandlass, a Bel Air High School graduate, was a budget bureau chief and a supervisor of fiscal and policy analysis for Carroll and Baltimore counties.

Ted Pibil will stay on as director of the Office of Information & Communication Technology.

Glassman also plans to abolish the Office of Chief of Staff and bring back the Department of Government and Community Relations, which advocates on behalf of the county executive at the local, state and national level.

Bret Schreiber has been nominated to lead that department, while Cindy Mumby, Glassman's campaign spokeswoman, will be deputy director and K-12 education liaison.

Schreiber, a North Harford High School graduate, has worked for 20 years in government and community relations, most recently with the Maryland Independent College and University Association.

Glassman said he appreciates the service of all of Craig's directors.

"Every department head, I think, that served for the county has done an admirable job," he said, explaining the changes are part of "just a natural transition."

Department heads are at-will employees of the county executive who are also subject to county council confirmation. With the incoming administration, the deputy department directors also have become at-will employees, in accordance with a county charter amendment voters approved in the recent election. Glassman supported the change.

Mumby, who is serving as Glassman's transition spokesperson, said the new department heads are expected to begin working on an acting basis Dec. 1 subject to their council confirmation. She said the appointments should be submitted to the council in early December.

The council, whose seven members also take office on Dec. 1, is scheduled to begin meeting the following night. Typically, county executive appointees are interviewed in public prior to any confirmation votes being taken. Under the county charter, a super-majority of five council votes is required to reject an appointee.

Glassman will need to submit an executive order to the council to revive the department of governmental and community relations. Such orders typically take effect 60 days following submission, unless the council votes to reject them.

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