Della doesn't want liquor board post now 'More than a full-time job,' senator says

July 30, 1996|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

State Sen. George W. Della Jr. said yesterday he's no longer interested in the city liquor board's top administrative job, vacated Friday by Aaron Stansbury after 29 years.

Della, who inquired about the $59,000 executive secretary post, now says he is not interested after learning "it's more than a full-time job."

Della had lunch July 19 with Stansbury to ask what the job entailed. Della said he lost interest after Stansbury sent Baltimore's state senators a list of 37 duties required of the executive secretary, who supervises a 46-person staff.

"Aaron worked long after people left every day. Aaron worked on weekends trying to keep up with it all," said Della, noting that his "inquiry" about the job was blown out of proportion.

"I made an inquiry, and hysteria prevailed. I see nothing wrong with making an inquiry about any kind of position," said Della, adding, "I'm not interested in it."

The city liquor board is one of Maryland's last bastions of political patronage, where city senators decide who inspects bars and pick the board members who control city liquor licenses. Della, a senior senator from South Baltimore, has chosen one of the board's three members and several inspectors.

Since Stansbury announced his retirement, critics of the patronage system -- including Stansbury himself -- have worried that he will be replaced by someone who is politically connected, but who might not have the administrative abilities for the job.

Yesterday, political operative and former liquor board employee Kenneth L. Webster submitted his application to the board.

Webster worked as assistant chief inspector -- appointed by state Sen. John A. Pica -- from 1992 to 1995. He served in the House of Delegates from 1970 to 1978.

Webster said yesterday he believes he has both the administrative skills and the "political acumen" for the job.

Attached to a resume Webster sent to the board is another document called a "political profile," which lists several political campaigns he has managed, including those of Sen. Clarence W. Blount, former Comptroller Jacqueline McLean and City Council member Joan Carter Conway.

He also "played a major role" in getting out the black vote in Northeast Baltimore for Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Pica, according to the document.

Webster, 61, said he performed several duties as assistant chief inspector at the liquor board, including reviewing expense accounts, checking inspectors' attendance and helping write a personnel manual.

His application was the second received by the board as of yesterday. Jane Schroeder, who is deputy executive secretary to the board, was the first to apply.

Pub Date: 7/30/96

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