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Search panel picked to find new Crofton town manager WEST COUNTY--Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills


A three-member committee has been appointed to interview and recommend a new town manager for Crofton after Jordan L. Harding's resignation two weeks ago.

The committee will have until May 1 to recommend a replacement for Mr. Harding, who is expected to serve until the end of April.

But there was some question at Monday night's board meeting as to exactly when Mr. Harding will step down from the $38,000-a-year position.

Though he told the board March 8 that he will quit at the end of next month, the 62-year-old town manager has not submitted a resignation letter.

Also Monday night, Edwin F. Dosek, the civic association president, said Mr. Harding may stay on past the April 30 deadline.

"He can't resign and leave the date hanging forever," said board member Ed Ganning. "He either resigns or he doesn't resign. I don't want to see it that he will be here one week and then another week and then all of a sudden it's Dec. 31."

Mr. Harding, who is credited by many association board members with ending Crofton's isolationism and restoring an aura of professionalism to the special tax district, said he is stepping down to pursue other activities. He was not at Monday's board meeting.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Harding said he told the board his last day would be April 30. "I think that's good enough," he said, adding that he has written a resignation letter but has not submitted it for "for reasons I am not at liberty to discuss."

Board members passed a resolution ordering Mr. Dosek -- over his objections -- to send a letter to Mr. Harding accepting his resignation "no later than the first of May 1993."

The committee will begin advertising for a town manager immediately, though its search will be limited to Maryland.

Mr. Harding was hired in 1990 after a nationwide search in which people applied from as far away as Oregon.

Mr. Dosek said he has received two applications already, but would not say who they were from.

Some board members said Monday that it may be a good time to re-evaluate the town manager's job description, with the possibility of making it part time instead of full time.

"The town manager was involved in some things he shouldn't have been involved in," said Marty Szostek, a new board member chosen Monday to replace Becky Daniels, who resigned two weeks ago as secretary.

Mr. Harding had been criticized by some board members who felt the former seven-term mayor of New Carrollton frequently made policy decisions without receiving approval from the civic association.

But Mr. Dosek said the town manager's style was needed. "We were in the doldrums and he's been part of moving us out of the doldrums," he said. "Frankly, I'm happy we're on the way up."

The search committee members are: John Maloney, the civic association vice president; Marcia Richard, a board member; and Dave Espie, a longtime Crofton resident and former president of the association board of directors.

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