As administrations change in Anne Arundel, Howard, Harford and Baltimore counties, we pay tribute to four executives who left office yesterday with a legacy of solid contributions. Baltimore County's Dennis F. Rasmussen and Howard's Elizabeth Bobo were stymied in their re-election bids; Anne Arundel's O. James Lighthizer and Harford's Habern W. Freeman Jr. had to abide by two-term charter limitations.
The departure of Mr. Rasmussen caps a 16-year period in which three Democratic executives transformed Baltimore County from a semi-rural jurisdiction into a modern, urbanized county. Mr. Rasmussen continued the reforms of his predecessors, Theodore G. Venetoulis and Donald P. Hutchinson, especially in the crucial area of growth-management, and institutionalized honest and open government.
Baltimore County's new executive, Roger Hayden, a latter-day Republican, presides over a jurisdiction that is much changed. He should think twice about junking the good government and skilled management Mr. Rasmussen bestowed on the county.