Former Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo has received one state job offer and is believed to be considering several others, although she remains mum about her future plans and job prospects.

Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development Jacqueline H.

Rogers said Bobo has been offered a $60,000-a-year job as director of the Maryland Housing Fund, but has not given any indication whether she will accept.

Meanwhile, Bobo, 44, has taken on a low public profile amid rumors and unanswered questions about her professional and political future. She did not return phone calls to her home Friday.

The job with the Maryland Housing Fund, the state's housing insurance program that assists families in buying homes, has been open since former director Mark McBride resigned in August. Bobo may also be considering other jobs within the Schaefer administration.

As director of the Maryland Housing Fund, Bobo would oversee a program that can be likened to a state version of the Federal Housing Administration, said Ardath Cade, the deputy secretary of the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

Bobo "is a very capable person" who showed good fiscal insight while she was the Howard County executive, Cade said. Bobo was selected by Rogers after being interviewed along with several other applicants.

"In a sense, being a county executive is like being a CEO of a large corporation," Cade said. "The skills of a good county executive could be put to good use" in the corporate set-up of the housing fund.

The new director would be taking over at a critical time in the housing industry and in the slumping economy. Cade said Rogers looked for a director who could provide a creative touch to a job that is often technically oriented.

The housing program is one of the four divisions in the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

If Bobo opted to take the job, she would be in charge of a staff of 30 people who are primarily responsible for offering mortgage and credit insurance.

"It's an intellectually demanding job and it offers a chance for someone to go deeper than you could as a county executive," Cade said. "There's a wonderful potential for doing new things. She (Bobo) could do it very well."

The governor's press office declined to say whether Bobo has been offered any other positions within the Schaefer administration. However, Rogers indicated that Bobo was holding off on accepting the housing fund offer until she had a chance to review other state job possibilities.

Bobo, a Democrat who was unexpected defeated by Republican Charles I.

Ecker, has been seldom heard in the weeks since the election.

Some say she has been aggressively job-hunting in both the public and private sectors since leaving office Dec. 3. However, she has been reluctant to speak with anyone but her closest friends about the search.

Bobo was appointed to the Howard County Council in 1977 and served for nine years before her election as county executive in 1986. She became the first woman in the state to become county executive.

Before November, many figured her to be a shoo-in for re-election in light of her promising political background. Ecker edged her out by only 450 votes.

The $60,000 salary that Bobo would receive for the director's job would be the same amount she received as county executive. Had she been re-elected to the county executive seat, she would have earned $80,000 annually under a new bill adopted earlier this year by the County Council.

The bill went into effect Dec. 1.

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