Howard hires official forced to quit in Carroll


Forced to resign as Carroll County's public works director in July, J. Michael Evans will become Howard County's next director of the Inspections, Licenses and Permits Department, starting Oct. 10. Evans, 57, will earn $80,300 in his new job, which was left vacant when David Hammerman retired in July.

The resignation came as a shock to many people in Carroll County because of its suddenness and because no reason for the action was ever given - even to Julia Gouge, one of the three Carroll commissioners who wasn't consulted by her two colleagues.

Evans has 29 years of experience in local government, starting in 1971 as a management assistant in Anne Arundel County. From 1975 to 1982, he served as assistant director and then director of Anne Arundel's inspections and permits division and then took over as Central Services director there.

He moved to Carroll County in 1988 and was again director of permits until 1995, when he took over as public works director. Despite Evans' forced resignation in July, Raquel Sanudo, Howard's chief administrative officer, said neither she nor County Executive James N. Robey hesitated to hire him. "We're not worried at all," she said yesterday.

"The goal of this department continues to be professional, customer-oriented service that is responsive without being obstructive," Robey said in a statement. "Mike's extensive experience in the government regulatory area will help make certain that we continue to take strikes toward developing a system that is responsive."

Evans, a Westminster resident, said the two Carroll commissioners who forced him to resign - Donald I. Dell and Robin Bartlett Frazier - never explained their actions to him or to the public.

"Have they ever told me why? No. When one serves at the pleasure of the commissioners, that's exactly what that means. When they say, 'Go,' you say, 'Bye.' "

Evans, who has been working for the past six weeks as a consultant to Masonry Homes, a building firm, said he is looking forward to coming to Howard County.

Howard's department has a staff of 70 and is the clearinghouse for processing building permits, reviewing construction documents and inspecting buildings for compliance to county laws. The department also handles electrical, mechanical and plumbing inspections for all new construction and for rental housing.

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