Preis, van Arsdale, two more top Baltimore County officials, to retire

Two more top Baltimore County officials are leaving as County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. sets up his new administration.

Fire Chief Kyrle Preis and planning director Andrea van Arsdale announced this week that they are retiring.

They were two of the department heads who were not included in a list of appointments and reappointments that Olszewski sent to the Baltimore County Council last week. The council is required to confirm Olszewski’s department directors and public safety chiefs.

Olszewski said Thursday that he will appoint Assistant Chief Jennifer L. Aubert-Utz to be acting fire chief beginning on Jan. 1. Preis’ retirement is effective Dec. 31.

Preis has been fire chief since 2017, taking over for longtime chief John Hohman, who retired.

“I truly believe that the Baltimore County Fire Department has given me the most rewarding career one could have,” Preis said in a statement released by the county executive’s office.

Aubert-Utz has been with the county’s fire department for 18 years, rising from firefighter/EMT to assistant chief. She holds a master’s degree in management from Johns Hopkins University.

Van Arsdale’s retirement was not announced by the county executive’s office, but she discussed her plans at a meeting of the Baltimore County Council on Tuesday.

“I leave with no regrets and a lot of very fond memories,” van Arsdale said.

No replacement for van Arsdale has been named. The Department of Planning’s work involves planning and zoning, development review, land preservation, historic preservation, affordable housing and services to the homeless.

These retirements leave just two other county department directors whose fates have not yet been decided: human resources director George Gay and Arnold Jablon, head of the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections.

Olszewski was elected county executive in November, succeeding fellow Democrat Don Mohler.

pwood@baltsun.com

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