Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke named Assistant Planning Director Victor L. Bonaparte as Baltimore's acting transportation commissioner yesterday.
Mr. Bonaparte, 44, who has worked in the Planning Department for 19 years, Monday will replace Herman Williams Jr., who has been named fire chief.
"I think this is a great opportunity for me," Mr. Bonaparte said.
Mr. Bonaparte has served for the past eight months as Mr. Schmoke's representative on the transportation steering committee of the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments.
As acting transportation commissioner, Mr. Bonaparte will oversee an agency that's responsible for a wide variety of services including road repairs, snow removal and enforcement of parking regulations. But the Transportation Department's future is uncertain. Earlier this year, a task force recommended a merger of the Transportation Department and the Public Works Department. The merger would streamline city government, the task force said.
"The mayor wants to look at how the [Transportation] Department is operating and complete all the work on the organizational restructuring of the government," Mr. Bonaparte said. "But I don't know what the status of [the merger] is. The mayor has not made a decision on that."
A graduate of Morgan State University, Mr. Bonaparte began working for the city in 1973. Over the years, he worked as a planner and in a variety of capital budget areas before being named chief of the capital improvement planning section in 1988. He was named assistant director of planning in January 1991.
Mr. Bonaparte has no formal transportation training, but said his experience at the Planning Department should help in his new job.
"I don't have a technical background in transportation. But I have been both chief of the capital program and chief of strategic planning," he said, adding that he helped plan road repairs in those jobs.