Assistant comptroller to join Owens staff

Longtime Goldstein aide to quit state for post in Anne Arundel County

February 20, 1999|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

The right-hand man to legendary Maryland Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein is leaving his state post to become chief of staff for Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens.

Marvin A. Bond, 49, will assume the job March 4, bringing what political observers say is enviable expertise in management, a Rolodex that reads like a Who's Who of Maryland politics, intimate knowledge of fiscal matters and experience in dealing with the public.

Owens, a Democrat, began courting Bond moments after her November victory. But he turned down her offer of one lower-paying job in her administration. Bond earns $82,000 a year with the state.

The chief of staff position currently pays $76,000, but Owens said she was hoping to raise that.

"As things developed here in the last five or six weeks, it looked like there was a different need, so we all revisited the issue," said Bond, about his change of mind over working for Owens. "It appeared like this was something that would work."

Bond, who lives in Linthicum, takes over from Linda Gilligan. She was demoted after her brother-in-law, Michael T. Gilligan, who was co-chairman of Owens' transition team, embarrassed the fledgling administration by neglecting to tell Owens that he was a paid lobbyist for developers seeking to build an auto racetrack in Pasadena. Owens dumped him from the volunteer post.

Bond said his decision to leave the comptroller's office after 28 years had nothing to do with former Gov. William Donald Schaefer, elected comptroller last fall. Schaefer, who has brought some of his associates into the comptroller's office and who has a political style much different from Goldstein's, commended the work Bond has done.

Bond was a top aide to Goldstein, a Democratic powerhouse, coordinating his political races, acting as his press officer and then as assistant comptroller and the department's liaison to the Internal Revenue Service, and legislative link at both state and federal levels. He is credited with establishing various tax services and initiating money-saving programs for the comptroller.

Owens said Bond's experience is sorely needed in a government that "needs assistance from outside the county."

"I think it's going to help enormously. We have a tax cap. Look at the kind of economic development issues that are on the plate with Anne Arundel County -- a changing [National Security Agency], Tipton Airport, David Taylor [the U.S. Naval Academy's former research center, now county property]," she said. "I need breadth of contacts with national and local people and state people."

State Sen. Robert R. Neall, an Arundel Republican, who raided the state bureaucracy upon his election in 1990 as county executive, said having high-level staff that can summon advice from around the state, from an assortment of political quarters and from varied constituencies is critical.

"When I looked around to put together my team, I was looking for seasoned, experienced managers who could add value," he said. Not only is Bond knowledgeable about the Board of Public Works and state government, Neall said, but "I would put his Rolodex up against anybody's."

"He is the quiet man who is going to make the government work. He did it for Louis Goldstein, he will do it for Janet Owens," said former state Del. Victor A. Sulin of Severn, a Democrat.

While Bond will be in charge of communications, staff management, community services and overseeing legislation, his first challenge will be to help Owens get a handle on her schedule.

Bond also will oversee plans for the county 350th-anniversary celebration next year.

"And I think I am going to give him the census, too," Owens said.

Pub Date: 2/20/99

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