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Howard hires former Montgomery County official as new County Council administrator

The Howard County Council on Tuesday announced a former Montgomery County official is the new council administrator.

Diane Schwartz Jones, who assumed the role Monday, replaces Jessica Feldmark, who served as the council administrator for five years. Feldmark, a Democrat, was elected as a state delegate in November to represent portions of Howard and Baltimore counties.

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Since 2002, Feldmark had worked in many facets of Howard County government. Between 2002 and 2006, she worked as a special assistant for the Howard County Council, according to her state biography page. Between 2006 and 2014, she worked in former County Executive Ken Ulman’s administration including as his chief of staff in his last term. Starting in 2014, she served as the council administrator, a role that calls for helping lawmakers through legislative and bureaucratic processes.

Though she is a state delegate, Feldmark came back to her role in the spring to help the County Council, all of whom are freshmen lawmakers, make it through their first budget season. Theo Wimberly, a senior analyst for the council, was the acting administrator between January and April.

Jones worked in Montgomery County government for nearly 30 years. She started in the Montgomery County’s Attorney’s Office in 1986 before serving as assistant chief administrative officer from 2007 to 2011, according to a Howard County news release. She became director of Montgomery’s Department of Permitting Services and helped helped with its restructure.

Jones will make $162,707 annually, according to County Council spokeswoman Julia Singleton. She has bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

As administrator, Feldmark made $194,435 annually, according to Singleton. The salary range for the position is $113,516-to $194,434, Singleton said.

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