Two governors?; Schaefer: Former governor, as new state comptroller, charts agenda that may clash with Glendening's.


MARYLAND has never had an activist state comptroller before. It does now.

On Monday, William Donald Schaefer, the former two-term governor and four-term Baltimore mayor, was sworn in as state comptroller before a giant crowd in the House of Delegates chambers. Today, he begins what should be a fascinating cohabitation in the Annapolis power structure with his successor as chief executive, Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

Yes, the weekly Board of Public Works meetings should be lively with two governors on the three-member panel. While Mr. Schaefer said in his inaugural speech that he doesn't intend to upstage the governor, he set out an ambitious agenda that surely sounded gubernatorial.

Especially on matters of economic development, the new comptroller indicated an eagerness to jump into areas that are in the governor's orbit. Remember, the comptroller doesn't control budget allocations or set priorities -- the governor and legislators take care of that.

As a cheerleader for job growth and a better business climate, Mr. Schaefer can make a sizable contribution. Maryland has no bigger booster than the new comptroller. That is following in the tradition of the late Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein. But on most other matters, it's the governor who is in charge, not the collector of tax revenues.

Pub Date: 1/27/99

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