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Howard's top government administrator to keep job, other key advisers being replaced as administration transition begins

Howard County Executive-elect Calvin Ball plans to keep the county’s chief administrative officer who has served under three administrations.

Lonnie Robbins was appointed deputy chief administrative officer in 2004 by James Robey, a two-term Democrat. Robbins was promoted to chief administrative officer by Ken Ulman, a Democrat who served two terms. He was kept in the post by Allan Kittleman, a Republican who lost to Ball in this month’s election.

“It has been an honor to serve as CAO for the past 11 years, and I have been fortunate to have worked with thousands of Howard County employees, residents, businesses, and stakeholders during my tenure,” Robbins, 68, said in a statement. “I look forward to assisting the new administration to ensure efficient operation of government and effective use of tax dollars in delivering services.”

Ball, who has been a member of the County Council for 12 years, announced other top advisers Wednesday, less than a week before he will be sworn in as Howard’s first black county executive.

Ball has the option to retain or dismiss 93 people who serve in appointed positions, according to Kittleman spokesman Paul Milton. The positions up for grabs include department heads, executive staff and the chiefs of the police and fire departments. A Ball transition team is expected to make a number of policy and personnel recommendations.

Robbins’ deputy will be Angela Lagdameo Cabellon, a former social services officer and deputy chief of children, youth and family services for Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services. The deputy position under Kittleman was held by Nancy E. Gray.

Sameer Sidh will serve as Ball’s chief of staff. Sidh formerly led planning, coordination, and project management at Towson University. Sidh’s position under Kittleman’s administration was held by B. Diane Wilson. Jennifer Jones, a Howard County native, will be Sidh’s deputy.

Maureen Evans Arthurs will serve as the director of government affairs and strategic partnerships. Evans Arthurs has since 2015 has been legislative director for Del. Shelly Hettleman, a Democrat who represents Baltimore County. Evans Arthurs in 2018 was elected chairwoman of Howard’s Democratic Central Committee.

Shaina Hernandez will serve as Ball’s senior policy adviser. Hernandez will leave her role as director of local government affairs and strategic initiatives for the Greater Baltimore Committee, a coalition of business and civic leaders. Hernandez formerly served in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s press office.

Kimberly Pruim will be director of constituent services and community partnerships. Prium served as Ball’s assistant for nine years and on a multi-jurisdictional roundtable aimed at addressing airport noise.

Scott Peterson will lead Howard’s communications office. Peterson was press secretary for outgoing Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker. Peterson formerly served as a spokesman for Montgomery County Executive-elect Marc Elrich’s transition team. Peterson’s position was held by Deidre McCabe, a Kittleman appointee.

This story has been updated with Robbins’ age and to correct the timing Peterson’s position on Elrich’s transition team.

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