During her campaign for city comptroller last fall, Jacqueline McLean pledged that things would change if she was elected. Now, some six months after she succeeded Hyman Aaron Pressman, a Baltimore institution in that job for 28 years, heads have begun to roll. Three senior officials have been let go. She calls the staff changes a "reorganization." Her critics say it is a "purge."
Mrs. McLean says "the matter of my trying to get more efficiency" was behind the termination of Deputy Auditor Bert Finkelstein, Assistant Comptroller Erwin A. Burtnick and Ronald Brown, the head of the municipal telephone exchange. "When I ran for the office, I told people we are going to make changes, we are going to be more efficient. I am just doing what I promised," Mrs. McLean explains.
Each office holder determines priorities and wants to choose his or her top command. Mr. Pressman did it in his days, Mrs. McLean does it now. We have no problem with that. We are concerned, however, that realizing she could not appoint her own top people at will, she decided to circumvent civil service rules and created vacancies by abolishing existing positions.