Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden surged into office on a wave of anger against Dennis F. Rasmussen for perceptions that Rasmussen's administration had ballooned county spending, forcing higher taxes on county residents.
And so, yesterday Hayden announced the creation of two committees to study taxes and spending.
Larry M. Epstein, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for state comptroller, will head the Tax Equity Committee and James M. Anders Jr., Hayden's campaign treasurer, will chair the Committee on Efficiency, Costs and Spending. Both are certified public accountants.
"It's an opportunity to do some of the things we talked about during the property tax campaign," said John O'Neill, a leader in the taxpayer movement that helped get Hayden elected. O'Neill, a retired business executive from Ruxton, was named vice chairman of the spending committee.
"Roger's just keeping honest, keeping his promises," added O'Neill, who said the spending committee could closely scrutinize the county government, looking for fat.
Hayden asked the tax committee to report back to him by June 30, while the spending committee's work will be ongoing.
Other members of the tax committee include: District Court pTC Judge John C. Coolahan; county finance director James R. Gibson; several local businessmen; and several other people involved in the taxpayer revolt in the county, including Harold Lloyd, Margaret M. Davis, Richard Pulse and George Towle.
Besides O'Neill, other members of the spending committee include: James L. Layman, manager of the procurement cost evaluation area of Martin Marietta Aero and Naval systems; G. Thomas Welzenbach, owner of the Perry Inn & Pub; and Albert M. Zawodny, retired chief financial officer of Worcester Wire.
Meanwhile, the county school board has approved the replacements for two high school principals hired to work on Hayden's staff.
Thomas R. Hensley, an assistant principal at Dulaney High School since June, replaces Judith E. Scheper as principal of Dulaney.
Scheper, 43, an educator for 22 years, took an unpaid leave of absence to join Hayden's staff.
"I don't know offhand," she said, when asked how much she'll make as secretary to the county executive and chief of staff.
Nicholas C. Spinnato Sr., 53, who retired as principal of Sparrows Point High School to become an executive assistant to Hayden, said his salary would be in the "$50,000 range" although a final figure hasn't been determined.
Replacing Spinnato at Sparrows Point High is G. Keith Harmeyer, 47, an assistant principal at several county high schools over 10 years, most recently at Milford Mill.