Howard executive names GOP activist as a ranking aide


Gail H. Bates, a certified public accountant who managed a GOP council member's campaign, has been appointed to fill a top aide spot with Republican Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker.

Ms. Bates, a 45-year-old resident of West Friendship who served two terms on the county's Republican Central Committee, said she will fill the vacant post, which has a salary range between $40,000 and $59,000.

"No salary has been set yet. I never even asked," said Ms. Bates, who runs an accounting business from her home and managed Councilman Charles C. Feaga's re-election campaign in the 5th District.

Mr. Ecker initially said he did not intend to fill the second position, after hiring Beverly Wilhide as his top aide. He said he wanted to leave the job vacant to illustrate his intent to trim county government. But Ms. Wilhide said yesterday that the executive has decided to leave vacant two other slots -- one full-time and one part-time assistant to the executive's aides. Both jobs are in the merit service, as opposed to appointed positions.

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