A Bel Air commercial and industrial real estate broker became CountyExecutive Eileen M. Rehrmann's second nominee Thursday for the economic development director slot vacant since February.
Rehrmann, whosaw her first pick's chances shattered after revelations that the nominee had embellished her resume, tapped James D. Fielder Jr. for the$50,742-a-year post.
Fielder is the brother of former two-term county councilman G. Edward Fielder, a Democrat who failed in his re-election bid last year.Rehrmann's nominee also served on her campaign for executive as a liaison with businesses that helped coordinate fund-raising efforts.
An executive-appointed search committee interviewed more than 80 applicants from as far away as Chicago before sending Rehrmann the names of three, including Fielder.
Rehrmann called the 48-year-old an ideal candidate to help fulfill her campaign promise to adopt a much more aggressive approach to attracting big business and industry to Harford.
The first-term executive praised Fielder's background in both public and private marketing, management, and financial and budget planning.
Fielder, a Havre de Grace native, now works for the Bel Air-based Fairview Realty Inc. He has served as a budget policy analyst for the state of Michigan, as budget and personnel director for the University of Michigan, and as a corporate marketing vice president for a Michigan manufacturing company, county officials said.
But they refused to provide more specifics on Fielder's background.
More details will be released Tuesday night, when the executive formally presents her nominee to the County Council, which must approve his appointment, administration officials said.
Fielder declined comment Friday on his nomination or his goals. He also is a University of Maryland graduate with a major in agriculture, and he owned WHRF-AM, a Bel Air "oldies" station, before selling it in December 1989.
Rehrmann said she had left no doubt about her expectations and concluded that Fielder shares her view that the county has remained far toopassive in its economic development efforts.
"We can no longer sit back and wait for businesses to decide to come to Harford County," Rehrmann said. "We need to go out and be much more aggressive in attracting big business to Harford County. He knows what it takes to attract industry to the area."
Rehrmann said the county needs an infusion of new business to improve its tax base and help shoulder the steep price of growth.
She said she expects Fielder to forge corporate-government partnerships that would provide money and programs for schools and public services.
Fielder would begin the job immediately after County Council confirmation, Rehrmann said.
Fielder received a doctorate in business higher education administration from Michigan State University in 1984. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in 1970 and a master's degree in education in 1972. He received a real estate license in Maryland in 1988.
The executive's first choice for the job, Patricia A. Perluke, requested that her name be withdrawn in early February after The Harford County Sun reported discrepancies in her resume and a qualifications summary.
Perluke listed among her qualifications two years in a "senior management role" in the office of the secretary at the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development. In fact, the agency hired her as a contractual consultant for eight months.
Perluke also claimed she had "established" a business consulting group in Baltimore and said she had worked two years there as a partner. Actually, she had worked as an unpaid "subcontractor" for about four months, the company's founder said.