Liquor board administrator resigns

August 12, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

Stanley P. Pianowski, the low-key administrator of the Baltimore County liquor board, has resigned his $37,128 job effective Aug. 20.

In a short resignation letter dated Aug. 9, Mr. Pianowski, who has held the job for 10 years, said that it was time for a change and that he had mixed emotions about leaving. Mr. Pianowski, 57, later said he has no new job waiting.

"It's just for personal reasons," he said. "It's something I've been thinking about for a while."

A political appointee, Mr. Pianowski kept a low profile as board administrator, limiting his public comments to board business.

The job is a sensitive one in county government for two reasons. First, the board administrator influences how the county regulates the often politically active owners of local bars, restaurants and package goods stores. Secondly, the board and its staff are sometimes the focus of political tensions between state legislators, who have the power to change or block changes to local liquor laws, and county officials, who may have different ideas.

For example, legislators and County Executive Roger B. Hayden are discussing forming a committee to study whether to allow the transfer of liquor licenses between election districts. That would ease license availability for chain restaurants new to the area.

At least three sources said Mr. Pianowski's sudden resignation is the result of tensions between him and William R. Snyder, the board chairman. Mr. Snyder denied there was any problem and refused any other comment except to confirm the resignation. He said he is searching for a candidate to recommend to Mr. Hayden.

Mr. Snyder was in the board offices yesterday, working on proposed rule changes with Lawrence Chambers, a part-time board inspector Mr. Snyder said could be "a viable candidate" for the administrator's job, along with several other people.

Mr. Pianowski served four years on the liquor board before former County Executive Donald P. Hutchinson appointed him to the staff job in March 1983. Before Mr. Pianowski's tenure as a political appointee, the job was a merit system position.

Liquor board member Philip R. Leyhe Jr., who was first appointed to the board with Mr. Pianowski in 1979, praised him and lamented his leaving.

"I'm going to miss him. I thought he did a good job," Mr. Leyhe said.

Frank J. Wesolowski, a Hayden supporter the executive appointed to the board with Mr. Snyder, also said he "regrets" the resignation.

"Stan has been most helpful to me," he said, noting that as a retired pharmacist, he had a lot to learn about regulating liquor outlets.

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