Ex-union official named personnel chief STATE HOUSE REPORT

March 05, 1994|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Sun Staff Writer

Gov. William Donald Schaefer yesterday named Joseph Adler, a former union chief, as state secretary of personnel for the final 10 months of his administration.

Mr. Adler, 47, has served as the department's deputy secretary since December 1992. For two years before that, he was an executive assistant to the governor. He replaces Hilda E. Ford, who retired March 1 after seven years as secretary. His appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Although Mr. Adler begins his tenure in the Cabinet during the governor's final year in office, he vowed to conduct a thorough review of personnel department practices.

"I'm not a status quo person and it is not going to be status quo for the next 10 months," he said. "I intend to look at every process in this department, everything we do, to see whether from a business sense it continues to make sense to do it that way."

The department, which has a $12 million budget and 215 employees, oversees pay, recruitment and training for Maryland's 60,000 state workers.

Yesterday's appointment brings Mr. Adler almost full circle. From 1981 to 1989, he was executive director of the 27,000-member Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA), one of the two major unions representing state workers.

"Having been on that side gives me a greater understanding of the needs of some of the employee organizations, and I understand where they are coming from even if we can't agree with what they are asking for," he said.

When Mr. Adler was MCEA's leading spokesman in Annapolis, the personnel secretary was former Baltimore Del. John F. X. O'Brien. Ironically, Mr. O'Brien is now in Mr. Adler's former job as MCEA executive director.

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