Roogow, Haddad resign as top aides Ecker wants his own people in several jobs

March 08, 1991|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Evening Sun Staff

After accepting the resignation of his top administrator, Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker says he plans to replace other high-level officials.

County Administrator Buddy Roogow ended speculation about his future yesterday when he submitted his resignation to Ecker.

And today, Janet Haddad, who has been Howard's personnel administrator for 11 years, resigned after being asked to step down.

Ecker, who took office last December after upsetting incumbent Elizabeth Bobo in the general election, asked both officials to resign during recent meetings.

Roogow, 41, a Bobo appointee, said he would leave the post by June 28.

"He [Ecker] has told me that he intends to replace me," Roogow said last night. "He's given me a great deal of latitude as to when that would be. He told me he had no complaints with my performance and was very complimentary."

Ecker said Roogow was a good administrator who worked hard, but "the chemistry wasn't there. . . . I really did try to give Buddy a chance. I believe I've been honest and open. He was loyal and I trusted him. But something didn't click."

Haddad, 48, said she has asked to stay until May, to negotiate contracts with unions and to help plan the possible layoff of 200 county employees.

Ecker said he has told some other top administrators and department heads appointed by Bobo or previous administrations that he intends to keep them. But he also said he plans to replace a number of others over the next several weeks.

Last week, Ecker said he wanted to make changes in key positions to build an administration to suit his needs.

Since taking office, Ecker also has accepted the resignations of Uri P. Avin as director of planning and zoning, Frederick W. Chaney as police chief, Richard W. Shaw as fire chief and Robert E. Vogel as assistant county administrator.

Ecker has said he plans to retain Raymond S. Wacks, the budget administrator, who has served in his position for the past 16 years. He is expected to keep Raymond F. Servary, the finance director; David Hammerman, the inspections chief; and James M. Irvin, the public works director.

Roogow, an Ellicott City resident, is the No. 2 figure in county government and its highest-paid official, with a annual salary of $80,000. Haddad earned $66,100 a year.

The administrator is responsible for overseeing governmental operations. Under Bobo, Roogow also was the county's top spokesman and the executive's key adviser. Ecker changed his role to make him less visible and less influential in policy matters, preferring to rely on the advice of administrative assistant Beverly Wilhide, whom he appointed immediately after taking office.

Roogow was appointed chief administrative officer by Bobo in December 1988 after he had served 1 1/2 years as deputy county administrator.

In his letter of resignation, he said his tenure as top aide gave him "the greatest experience I've had in my professional career." He said he hopes Ecker will be a successful county executive.

Haddad was appointed in 1979 by former County Executive J. Hugh Nichols. Both Roogow and Haddad said they do not have a job lined up yet.

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