William Donald Schaefer wants his bus back.
The former governor's hard feelings over Gov. Parris N. Glendening's 1995 sale of his beloved vehicle bubbled over yesterday at a meeting of the Board of Public Works. Schaefer, as comptroller, sits on the board, with the governor and state Treasurer Richard N. Dixon.
The board was conducting a routine review of Department of Transportation contracts when Schaefer criticized Glendening's plans to have officials make their own way to a Cabinet meeting this month in Western Maryland.
Schaefer recalled that when he was governor, he would travel all over the state in a customized bus packed with administration officials. He said that now that he is comptroller, he could use such a bus to visit the tax agency's offices around Maryland.
In his characteristic do-it-now style, Schaefer turned to Greg Pecoraro, assistant secretary of transportation. "See if you can find me a bus, and I'd like it painted," the comptroller ordered.
Schaefer then vented his annoyance at Glendening.
"He sold my bus," the comptroller sputtered.
"I didn't care for it," Glendening said blandly.
After the meeting, Schaefer continued to criticize his successor.
"Anything I had, the governor didn't like, so he sold my bus," Schaefer fumed. He said that with about 20 offices to visit around the state, bus transportation would be a cost-effective way for him to travel.
Mike Morrill, Glendening's spokesman, said afterward that the state "has no unused buses sitting around." He said Glendening was taking no position on whether the comptroller should have a bus.
"If [Schaefer] puts it in his budget and the legislature approves, that's his prerogative," Morrill said.