Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker this week named Raquel Sanudo, executive director of the Maryland Association of Counties, to replace Buddy Roogow as chief administrative officer.
Ecker also named former banking executive Joanne T. Nelson to replace Janet Haddad as the county's personnel administrator.
Roogow and Haddad were asked to resign last month.
Sanudo's appointment is Ecker's second attempt to replace Roogow. Ecker last month drew widespread criticism for going too far to accommodate the business community when he appointed developer John C. Mardall as county administrator.
Ecker rescinded the appointment before Mardall started work, saying there was a potential for conflict because the builder had development pacts with the county that were still in effect.
Sanudo, 48, an Ellicott City resident, was rumored to be a top candidate for the position before Mardall was appointed. Before joining MACO, she was an aide to then-Howard County Executive J. Hugh Nichols between 1979 and 1985. She will begin work July 1 and earn $75,000 a year.
Sanudo will serve as a top adviser in policy and budgetary matters and will oversee information services, central services, purchasing, personnel, budget and management services. She also will represent the county in labor negotiations.
Beverly Wilhide, an Ecker aide, said Sanudo was considered for the post last month, but was reluctant to leave MACO during the General Assembly's legislative session.
"She's been on the list since day one," Wilhide said.
Nelson, of Columbia, is to start her job May 1 and receive $65,000 a year. She was vice president for quality management at Equitable Bank in Baltimore from 1985 to 1990, when the bank merged with Maryland National Bank. After the merger, she served in the same position until earlier this year.
The new appointments come a week after Ecker laid off 40 people and eliminated 119 vacant posts to reduce the size of government and cut costs.
Asked why the new appointees were not chosen from within the administration to hold down costs, Wilhide said: "It might have something to do with the fact that [Ecker] didn't see anybody from inside that could be trusted at those positions."