Changes in government Anne Arundel County: Veteran Dvorak retiring, while Angelis will lead recreation.

April 04, 1997

ROBERT J. DVORAK has been a fixture in Anne Arundel County government for 29 years. He began working for the county as a senior accountant in the budget department shortly after the advent of charter government. On May 1, he will retire from his current position as chief administrative officer. His absence will be felt.

Mr. Dvorak is the last high-ranking official who has worked for each of Anne Arundel's five county executives: Alton, Pascal, Lighthizer, Neall and Gary. He has held nine different positions and was always willing to take the heat for controversial decisions. That was evident last year when he served as point man for County Executive John G. Gary's effort to reform the pension system for the county work force. With a propensity for making blunt and occasionally derogatory remarks about the rank-and-file, Mr. Dvorak absorbed the brunt of criticism over the policy, deflecting it from his boss.

During three decades, Mr. Dvorak accumulated a wealth of knowledge about county operations. He had his hand in many important decisions, from land use and planning to budget and fiscal operations. In the process, he acquired his share of enemies -- from fellow insiders who squared off against him in bureaucratic battles to union officials.

As Mr. Dvorak was announcing his departure, Mr. Gary was announcing a new appointment: Thomas F. Angelis will take over as director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, replacing the late M. Joseph Cannon, who died in February.

Like Mr. Cannon, Mr. Angelis has a long history of volunteering in youth recreation activities and no experience as a paid county official. He has worked in sales for a restaurant supplier since 1976. Although Mr. Angelis may not have been a government employee, he co-chaired Mr. Gary's transition team on recreation and parks after the executive's election in 1994.

Mr. Angelis will oversee a department with 70 full-time employees and 5,000 acres of parks, ballfields and nature sanctuaries.

Attacking government has become a parlor sport in some quarters, but county residents should recognize that Anne Arundel has an efficiently run government thanks to the efforts of professionals such as Mr. Dvorak and volunteers-turned-employees such as Mr. Angelis.

Pub Date: 4/04/97

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