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Baltimore Mayor-elect Brandon Scott names city administrator, chief of staff on eve of his inauguration

On the eve of his inauguration, Mayor-elect Brandon Scott on Monday named Baltimore’s first city administrative officer and a chief of staff.

Scott said in a news release that he would nominate Christopher J. Shorter for the city administrator role. Shorter is assistant city manager of Austin, Texas. He oversees the areas of health, the environment, culture and “lifelong learning” for that city. Previously, he was the director of the public works department for Washington, D.C.

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“Hiring Baltimore’s first chief administrative officer has been one of my top priorities, and I look forward to working closely with Mr. Shorter to focus on how we effectively, reliably, and equitably deliver services to all of our residents,” Scott said in a statement. “My city administrator, chief of staff and I will work closely together to fix what’s broken in city government and restore the public’s trust.”

Scott picked his current chief of staff in the City Council president’s office, Michael Huber, to continue as his top aide in the mayor’s office.

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Christopher J. Shorter, will be nominated for the role of City Administrator in Baltimore Mayor-Elect Brandon M. Scott administration. - Original Credit: handout
Christopher J. Shorter, will be nominated for the role of City Administrator in Baltimore Mayor-Elect Brandon M. Scott administration. - Original Credit: handout (handout / HANDOUT)

While on the City Council last year, Scott introduced a charter amendment to require mayors to hire a city administrator to oversee the day-to-day operations of city government. The council approved the amendment and voters passed it Nov. 3 on a referendum.

In his statement, Scott said the mayor’s office will pay for the positions of city administrator and a deputy city administrator from existing resources, and the jobs won’t require additional positions or an increase in the office’s budget. A spokesperson for Scott did not immediately respond Monday to questions about what their salaries would be.

Because Shorter’s job in Austin includes the city’s health operations, he has played “a pivotal role in the city’s COVID-19 response and issues around homelessness and support for vulnerable populations,” Scott’s statement said.

Shorter also served as chief operating officer for the District of Columbia’s health department.

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He could not be reached Monday for comment.

Huber also has been the legislative affairs director and director of business and economic development in the council president’s office.

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