Hayden announces 4 key appointments

December 05, 1990|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden drew from his experience in the county school system, in business and in politics yesterday in selecting new department heads and filling executive staff jobs.

Mr. Hayden appointed a 34-year veteran of the county Fire Department, Elwood H. Banister, 56, as county fire chief. His appointment is expected to be approved easily by the County Council.

He also named a county school administrator, a former executive he supervised while at Eastern Stainless Steel Corp. and a former aide to U.S. Representative Helen Delich Bentley, R-Md.-2nd, to key posts.

Wayne Harman, 55, a director of elementary school instruction for the county schools, was named head of the Department of Parks and Recreation. A graduate of Towson State University, Mr. Harman is a former elementary school principal who has been active with recreation groups throughout the county.

John E. Lutz, 44, a former comptroller at Eastern Stainless who worked under Mr. Hayden for 15 years in the company's finance division, was named director of the Department of Central Services.

Frank Welsh, who served as Mrs. Bentley's office manager, was named to Mr. Hayden's executive staff, along with Louis F. Waidner, 54, and James M. McKinney, 53, two other aides who also worked on Mr. Hayden's election campaign.

On Friday, Mr. Hayden dismissed the director of central services and the heads of the departments of community development, aging and environmental protection and resource management. He also asked the director of recreation and parks to step down.

Mr. Hayden's appointments so far demonstrate how he is drawing on his previous experience in filling key jobs, political observers say.

A former school board president who spent 22 years at Eastern Stainless, Mr. Hayden won election after switching to the Republican Party, with the encouragement of Mrs. Bentley.

Last month, he appointed Merreen E. Kelly, an associate superintendent in the county schools, to serve as county administrator and Carol Hirschburg, a former Bentley aide, as his press secretary.

Mr. Hayden said yesterday he hoped to raise the pay for department heads to ensure that every department head made more money than his or her subordinates. In some cases, deputy department chiefs have spent years in the merit system and have enjoyed longevity pay increases that create salaries higher than their bosses'.

Chief Banister, for example, was earning $79,172 as chief deputy in the Fire Department, while former Fire Chief Paul H. Reincke was paid $67,600.

"It's just as illogical as it can be to have people working under somebody and making more money than they are," Mr. Hayden said.

Carroll McComas, director of personnel, said five top administrators in the Fire Department now were paid more than the fire chief. In the Police Department, three colonels make more money than Chief Cornelius Behan, who is expected to stay in his job.

There also are deputies in the recreation and parks department, the finance office and three public works bureau chiefs who are paid more than the department heads overseeing them, Mr. McComas said.

Mr. Hayden said he expected to ask the County Council to raise the fire chief's salary, as well as those of several department heads, to make them more competitive with the pay for comparable jobs in surrounding jurisdictions.

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