Gov. Parris N. Glendening plans to name Baltimore businessman James T. Brady to lead his efforts to create and retain jobs in Maryland, a major priority for his administration, sources said.
Mr. Brady, who served as co-chairman of Mr. Glendening's transition team, is the Baltimore managing partner of Arthur Andersen & Co., the international accounting house.
Business leaders applauded the selection. "I don't think the governor could have done better," said Walter Sondheim, a Baltimore business executive and civic leader. "Jim Brady is one of the most respected people in the business community."
The governor declined to comment, but sources told The Sun that Mr. Brady would be named tomorrow as secretary of the soon-to-be revamped Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
The selection of a business executive for the job marks a change from the tendency of many state and local governments to pick bureaucrats for economic development positions.
Mr. Brady, 54, of Cockeysville would not confirm his appointment. However, he described himself as a "competitive" man who would involve the business community in the fight to keep Maryland from losing more jobs to surrounding states.
"I believe strongly that economic development has to be a real public-private partnership, and the private sector has to have a real role to play," he said. "My goal is to see that partnership become a working reality in the years ahead. I don't think there can be anything more likely to change the chemistry of attracting and retaining businesses in the state."
His nomination would nearly complete the Glendening Cabinet. Yesterday, the governor named Prince George's County labor commissioner Frank W. Stegman, 49, as secretary of labor, licensing and regulation, as expected. He also picked John R. Griffin, 48, deputy secretary at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, to lead that agency.
Today, Mr. Glendening is expected to appoint Alvin Collins, 47, Baltimore's social services director, to lead the Maryland Department of Human Resources, which administers welfare, sources said.
All of those nominations require the approval of the state Senate. Mr. Brady, who was praised yesterday by legislative and business observers, is not expected to have any trouble,
"If he was the nominee, it would send the message that the business of the Glendening administration is business, and that's a positive for a state that needs to recruit businesses as well as retain businesses within its borders," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., a Prince George's County Democrat.
Mr. Brady's willingness to join the Cabinet "is unusual because so many times business people complain about government but don't want to get involved in it," the senator said.
Mr. Brady is "one of the unusual players in the Baltimore business community," said Donald P. Hutchinson, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee. "Most people look at government with some reservations. Jim is just the opposite. He loves to mix it up. He's intrigued by government. He thinks government can be a tool for accomplishment."
Champe C. McCulloch, president of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, predicted that news of Mr. Brady's selection would be greeted with "lots of smiles" in the business community.
The governor has proposed several changes to make the economic development agency more responsive and focused on business.
Mr. Glendening also wants to form a commission composed of business and industry executives who would advise Mr. Brady and develop a master economic development plan.
Mr. Brady, who is preparing to move to Baltimore, described himself as competitive when it comes to business development. "I tend to be very aggressive, very competitive, and I don't like to lose."
The New York native has been with Arthur Andersen since 1962 and a partner since 1975. He worked in the firm's New York and Long Island offices until being transferred to the Baltimore office in 1985.
Governor defends Stegman
Yesterday, Mr. Glendening defended his appointment of Mr. Stegman, 49, who has been involved in the pension controversy that has dogged his administration in recent weeks.
"He is a skilled administrator and an excellent attorney," the governor said of Mr. Stegman, who would become secretary of labor, licensing and regulation. "I'm not about to give up a really good, qualified individual just to avoid another story or two in terms of the controversy."
Mr. Stegman helped a craft a supplemental Prince George's pension plan several years ago that has been criticized for being too generous. A key provision allowed Mr. Glendening and three of his top aides to collect early pensions and higher-than-usual severance benefits when they left their jobs in county government this winter.
The governor said he expects the Senate to ask "some additional detailed questions about the process we used for the pension, but as we have said repeatedly, the decisions made, in the context of that time, we believe, were the right decisions."