Drummond is named to Port Commission


Trying for a second time to give the board that oversees the Port of Baltimore its first-ever black member, Gov. Parris N. Glendening has named a Hunt Valley-based businessman to a year-old vacancy on the Maryland Port Commission.

Calvin E. Drummond, 44, a Pikesville resident and an account executive with Office Movers Inc. of Hunt Valley, will serve as an interim member until the state Senate votes on his nomination during next year's session.

Mr. Drummond worked in port businesses at Dundalk for 15 years -- from 1970 to 1980 as assistant equipment control manager for United States Lines, and from 1980 to 1985 as operations manager for Baltimore Trans Freight Lines.

Mr. Drummond brings "a type of knowledge that will be extremely beneficial to the commission," said Hannah Byron, the governor's appointments secretary.

Mr. Drummond received a transportation and traffic management certificate in 1980 from Catonsville Community College.

His first job after that was at Dundalk, coordinating vehicle movements for military and coastwise commercial shipping for United States Lines, and he says the port has been "in my bloodstream" ever since, though he has worked for Office Movers since 1985.

"Working around a big port is one of those experiences that you never leave behind, no matter where you go," he said.

Mr. Drummond fills the vacancy created a year ago when John Waltersdorf, president of Tri-State Electrical Supply Co., resigned because his company was going to be peripherally involved in bidding on a port contract overseen by the commission.

Governor Glendening's first attempt to fill the Waltersdorf vacancy with a minority appointee ended in embarrassment in February when he was forced to withdraw the name of Westley B. Johnson, whose Baltimore contracting firm became a target of federal auditors. They said he had submitted bills for work he never performed in a no-bid repair program run by Baltimore's Housing Authority.

Seeking to make sure there would not be a new embarrassment, Mr. Glendening's staff has checked with the state Ethics Commission and has been assured there is no legal problem with Mr. Drummond's employer being a sister company of a container-trucking firm that does about $4 million in business a year at the port, Ms. Byron said.

State law prohibits appointment to the commission of any representative or employee of any entity whose "principal activities" are port-related.

Office Movers, whose business is moving commercial and industrial establishments, is owned by E. I. Kane Inc., a holding company that also owns E. I. Kane Intermodal Transportation Inc., the container-trucking company.

Office Movers provides about 40 percent of the $40-million revenues of the four principal companies owned by E. I. Kane last year, said Eugene I. Kane, the owner and chief executive officer. The container-trucking firm contributed about 25 percent, or $10 million. Most of the $10 million came from operations in other port cities, and about $4 million came from Baltimore, Mr. Kane said.

"We felt that he [Mr. Drummond] was far enough removed from the parent company and did not have any dealings with the port," Ms. Byron said. Should any issue before the commission present a conflict, he would stay out of that question, she said.

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