Annapolis mayor picks aide as temporary administrator

Johnson's top choice for permanent position rejected the job offer

January 28, 1999|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Annapolis Mayor Dean L. Johnson has appointed his spokesman as temporary city administrator after the man he selected for the job rejected it as paying too little.

After an exhaustive four-month search during which he sifted through 124 resumes, Johnson said, he offered the job to an out-of-state candidate a few weeks ago.

The maximum salary of $74,000, as dictated by the City Code, was not enough for the candidate.

City spokesman Thomas W. Roskelly moved into City Hall yesterday to help with administrative duties while Johnson begins searching anew. Roskelly will remain as spokesman.

"It's frustrating," said Johnson. "In talking with [potential candidates] usually it was a question of the salary not being to the level that they were used to. Seventy-four-thousand dollars is grotesquely less than what the people that we're looking at want. They're looking for $90,000 to $95,000."

Johnson has been working on the search since his original second in command, Walter N. Chit-wood III, resigned in September because of family obligations and a private-sector job.

Johnson said he advertised the job in three local newspapers and through two trade organizations.

Late last year, he narrowed the search to nine finalists -- all city managers of municipalities of the same size as Annapolis or larger.

Under the City Code, the city administrator must have an advanced degree in business or public administration, at least five years' experience in public administration or private business, and be a member of the International City and County Management Association.

"We're going back to the drawing board," Johnson said. "We're paying a lot more attention to salary, recognizing that salary has to be a part of [the] decision, and maybe lowering expectations."

Johnson said he has received fresh resumes and will choose an administrator as soon as possible.

Roskelly said he will help Johnson by taking over "some of the nitty-gritty things and allow him time to deal with some of the more important things."

"He needs to deal with this matter of getting a top-notch administrator in here," Roskelly said. "When he hires the person of his choice, I'll be more than happy to return to my office of public information."

Pub Date: 1/28/99

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