The new Baltimore county executive, Roger B. Hayden, was sworn in today in a packed ceremonial courtroom in Towson's 19th Century old courthouse.
Rain forced cancellation of a planned outdoor ceremony, and people stood packed in the hallways.
Hayden's inaugural address was short and general. He said his mandate from the voters was "to promote openness in government and pay strict attention to cost control and efficiency in government."
His was one of four swearing-ins today in the suburban counties. New Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann in Harford County and the commissioners in Carroll County were sworn in today, and county executive-elect Charles I. Ecker is to be sworn-in in Howard County tonight.
Rehrmann, 46, a Democrat, pledged today to build an administration that will "focus on people, on neighborhoods, on communities."
Speaking to a crowd of about 1,500 at Harford Community College, including Gov. William Donald Schaefer, the county's first female executive said her administration expects to end the current fiscal year with no surplus. She also said that running a government in tighter economic times would be challenging.
Habern W. Freeman Jr., the outgoing county executive, had projected an $18 million surplus in Harford.
Rehrmann also pledged to increase efforts to control growth.
The three Carroll County Commissioners, after their swearing-in today at the county courthouse in Westminster, were expected to choose officers among themselves.
Julia Gouge, a Republican and the only returning incumbent, said she expected to be secretary. She said that Elmer Lippy, a Democrat and former mayor of Manchester, would be vice president and that Donald Dell, a Republican and the highest vote-getter, would be president. The three commissioners are equal in their powers, but the president presides over meetings.
Yesterday, at the inauguration of Robert R. Neall as the new Anne Arundel County executive, outgoing executive O. James Lighthizer gave his successor some advice: "Play fair, put things back where you find them, don't take what's not yours, always remember to flush, be nice to others -- and don't screw it up."
Lighthizer, a Democrat, presented Neall, a Republican, with a copy of the best-seller, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," from which he said he got his advice.
Then, before about 400 supporters in an auditorium at Anne Arundel Community College, Neall took the oath of office.
"I stand before you with pride, humility, a lot of gratitude, anticipation, anxiety and terror," Neall said in a brief inaugural address. "We have a big job to do. Caring and compassion will be our corporate mission."
"I am acutely aware that I am the winner of a close election," Neall said of the campaign that won him 51 percent of the vote. "I hope to assure those who voted for me that I am the right man for the job."
Neall also talked about the challenges his administration will face. "I want to put together the most aggressive economic development plan in the state to build a recession-proof economy," he said.