Council confirms Chitwood as chief administrative officer AACC budget analyst has 20 years' experience in state, local government

December 31, 1997|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

The Annapolis city council unanimously confirmed last night the appointment of Walter N. Chitwood III as chief administrative officer, a position that gives him authority over all municipal departments and the power to hire and fire.

In a special meeting at City Hall, council members questioned Chitwood for about an hour in closed session, then convened in public to confirm his appointment.

The council also recommended that a formal process be created to evaluate Chitwood's performance.

Chitwood, a budget analyst at Anne Arundel Community College, will begin his new job Monday at a salary of $73,903 a year.

He will replace retired Navy Capt. John L. Prehn Jr., who officially leaves the position Jan. 9.

Chitwood said last night that he has started work in an unofficial capacity.

"What we've started to do is meet with individual department heads and people who work in each department," said Chitwood, who has lived in Annapolis since 1980 and whose family's roots in the capital go back 130 years. "I want to spend some time learning how the city operates. I'm excited."

Yesterday, council members said Chitwood's ties to the city and knowledge of local government cemented the vote in his favor.

Chitwood, who was a top aide to Robert R. Neall when Neall was county executive, has had about 20 years of experience in state and local government. He has been Anne Arundel County's controller, director of recreation and parks, director of public works and chief administrative officer.

"I look at Mr. Chitwood's association with the county as a plus for us," said Alderman Herb McMillan, a Ward 5 Republican. "I don't have any question in my mind that he will be loyal to the mayor and to the city."

Alderman Michael Fox, a Ward 7 Republican, said, "I think he'll be really good for the city.

"I've heard a lot of good things about him and did some of my own little research on him," said Fox. Fox is director of the Odenton Town Center Plan.

As the city administrator, Chitwood will also oversee day-to-day operations of Annapolis, lobby state legislators and city and county officials to enact the mayor's legislative proposals, and help shape the city's annual budget and set policy.

He will report to Mayor Dean L. Johnson, who alone has the power to fire him.

Pub Date: 12/31/97

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