County Tries To Raise Share Of Minority, Women Hires

April 18, 1991|By Samuel Goldreich | Samuel Goldreich,Staff writer

When Alexander Scott graduated from a historically black college in North Carolina last May, he had never heard of Anne Arundel County.

Last month, he graduated from the county's police training academy.Today, he's a patrol officer in the Eastern District.

Scott's move here from his native Fayetteville demonstrates both the Anne Arundel's effort to hire minorities and why it has failed toreach most of its affirmative action goals.

Competing with other governments and the private sector, the county simply cannot find enough minorities locally, personnel director Richard Mayer said.

"We've tried to expand the pool (of applicants)," he said Monday.

"We've tested in North Carolina. We've advertised in the (Baltimore) Afro-American. We've recruited at the black colleges in the area."

Mayer expects to present County Executive Robert R. Neall with a new affirmative action plan for rank-and-file employees May 1.

Neall hasmade some key appointments of minorities tounpaid positions, most notably naming black Republican activist Dallas Evans as chairman of the Planning Advisory Board.

Of the 45 people hired from December through February, 24.4 percent belonged to minority groups and 40 percent were women.

Neall imposed a partial hiring freeze in December.

But the new executive must overcome institutionalized suspicion from some minority advocates.

"The Neall administration has not changed much from (former County Executive O. James) Lighthizer, and manyof those same key people were there with (Lighthizer'spredecessor, Robert) Pascal," said Jean Creek, chapter president of the county National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Neall and Creek will meet next month to discuss ways to improve the county's minority hiring record.

"I have set a personal goal in my Cabinet that women and minorities will be represented. I am interviewing women and minorities for every appointed position that becomes available," Neall said yesterday.

"If I go through this drill every time, you'll start to see some results probably by the end of the year, probably at the department head level."

But Neall said it is unlikely that he will name a minority to fill either of the vacant police and fire department chiefs positions.

So far, he has not increased the number of women or minorities at the highest levels of power.

In fact, when budget director Marita Brown, a white woman, took a similar job in Prince George's County, Neall replaced her with Dennis Parkinson, deputy director of the state Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning and a white man.

Neall also said it would be inappropriate to extend affirmative action goals to the level of department head and other appointive positions.

"A lot of times, you're looking for specialized people, and a lot of times you're looking at a very narrow field of applicants," he said.

Annapolis Alderman Carl O. Snowden complained that the county forms a pyramid with blacks and women at the bottom.

The dichotomy is visible by walking from the basement tothe fourth floor of the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

In the service and maintenance and skilled craft categories, 24.3 percent were minorities when a three-year affirmative action plan expired Nov. 30.

One floor up, women of all races filled 82.6 percent of office and clerical jobs.

"That's where the county does its affirmative action hiring," Creek said.

"It's disgusting."

Closest to the top, minorities made up only 6.3 percent of the officials and administrators. Women made up only 12.6 percent of that class.

Higher still, Human Relations Officer Adrian Wiseman and Emergency Management Director Primus Richardson are the only blacks among department heads or Cabinet members.

"I know Jim Lighthizer was concerned about that, butI don't think it was a front-burner," said Carole Baker, a former county councilwoman.

She advised Neall to begin looking beyond traditional standards of experience and training, explaining that a motherreturning

to the job market "will not have an M.B.A. and 20 yearsof experience."

Mayer expressed frustration that Anne Arundel hadto reject preferential ranking for minorities as unconstitutional, following the dictates of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Department ofJustice.

The county must instead rely on selling itself to minorities,which seemed to work when Alexander Scott was recruited at a Fayetteville State University job fair.

"I had no idea of minority hiring. They didn't give me that impression," he said.

"I came here because I like living near the coastline and it's a good area for my daughter to go to school."

MINORITIES IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT

........ .. ... ... ... 3/87.... 11/90 goal... ...11/90 actual

Officials and

administrators... .. .. 122 .....--.... ... ..... 111

Female..... .. ... .. 6 (4.9%)... 25.1%.. .. ... 14 (12.6%)

Minority..... .. ... 5 (4.1%)... 11.5%... .. ... 7 (6.3%)

Professionals... .. ....337... ..--... .. ... ... 517

Female... .. .. ... 89 (26.4%).. 18.5%... ... 117 (22.6%)

Minority... .. .... 29 (8.6%)... 13%.... .... 46 (8.9%)

Technicians... .... ... 494.. .. --... ... ... .. 443

Female.. ... .. ... 125 (25.3%)..26.5%... ....110 (24.8%)

Minority... .. .. .. 40 (8.1%).. 16.1%... .... 46 (10.4%)

PublicSafety.... .. ...753.. .. --... .. ... .. 1,005

Female.... .. ..... 59 (7.8%)...8%.. ... .. . 78 (7.8%)

Minority... .. .. .. 93 (12.4%). 26.3%... ... 128 (12.7%)

Office/clerical... .... 255.. .. --... ... .. .... 477

Female... .. ... .. 232 (91%).. --... .. ....395 (82.8%)

Male... ... .. ..... 23 (9%).. 14.9%... ... .. 82 (17.2%)

Skilled Craft... .. ... 375..... --... .... .. .... 342

Female... .. .. ... 2 (0.05%).. 4.4%.. ... .. ..5 (1.5%)

Minority.... .. .... 80 (21.3%)..--... ... .... 65 (19.0%)

Service and

maintenance... ... .... 294... ..--.... .. .. ..... 367

Female... .. .. ... 21 (7.1%).. 7.1%... ... ... 7 (1.9%)

Minority.. .. .. .. 112 (38.1%)..--... .. .. .. 107 (29.2%)

*

Source: Anne Arundel County Office of Personnel

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