Executive-elect Robey taps Eakle to lead transition team Democrat also names Herman Charity as his administrative assistant

November 11, 1998|By Gady A. Epstein | Gady A. Epstein,SUN STAFF

Howard County Executive-elect James N. Robey has tapped former County Executive William E. Eakle Sr., an adviser and contributor to Robey's campaign, to lead his transition team, which will be charged with making recommendations soon after Robey succeeds Republican Charles I. Ecker on Dec. 7.

Robey also made the first appointment to his administration. His campaign manager, former police Lt. Herman Charity, will serve as his administrative assistant, a position that Robey said would pay roughly $50,000 a year.

Robey said only one other top official is assured a place in his administration. As expected, the former police chief will retain Wayne Livesay as chief of police.

Robey suggested his transition will be gradual. He said he might hold off on some big decisions, such as replacing department heads, for as long as six months.

"I'm not going to move too quickly," said Robey, who made it clear he is thinking beyond the four-year term he won Nov. 3. "I'm looking at an eight-year plan."

The choice of Eakle, 72, also suggests a transition that won't be radical. Eakle is no outsider to county government, having served as county administrator from 1977 until retiring in 1988, interrupted by a brief stint as county executive after the resignation of J. Hugh Nichols in 1986.

Eakle, who contributed $600 to Robey's campaign, indicated yesterday the transition team likely would stay away from such difficult issues as whether to replace top officials.

"We'll just look at how things are, we'll talk with department heads, get all their input and then we'll make recommendations," Eakle said. "We're not going to solve any big problems. We're not going into this looking for problems."

Eakle will work on the transition with about two dozen others, a mix of Democrats and Republicans that will include community activists, business leaders and attorneys, Robey said. He is waiting until the team is assembled at the end of the week to disclose who is on it.

Robey said the team will look at all county departments and submit a report on the issues that face each department and what changes should be made, including changing department heads, if necessary.

Pub Date: 11/11/98

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