George G. Perdikakis, the energetic civil servant charged with protecting Baltimore County's forests, waterfront and disappearing rural landscape, announced his resignation yesterday.
Perdikakis, 52, said he will step down as director of the county Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management on Feb. 19. He said he reached a "mutual decision" with County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger on leaving.
"It was time for a change," Perdikakis said. "It was time for me to move on."
Asked whether any event or incident triggered his departure, Perdikakis said "I'm not going to have a comment on that." He said he does not have another job and will take some time off.
Ruppersberger praised Perdikakis' more than five-year tenure and said the search for a replacement is under way. "George has been a valuable member of our team," the executive said in a statement. "We have enjoyed working together. George's decision is a mutually agreeable one, and I wish him all the best."
Perdikakis joins a growing list of high-ranking officials who have left county government as the Ruppersberger administration enters its final years. A new county executive will be elected in 2002 and will likely want many of his or her own appointees in top jobs.
Perdikakis started with the county in 1995. A Greek immigrant who came to the United States at age 18, Perdikakis earned an engineering degree and joined the Baltimore City transportation department, where he spent 15 years and rose to director of transportation under Mayor William Donald Schaefer. Ousted by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, he moved to the state Department of the Environment as a program analyst.
Known for a forceful yet friendly style and sometimes quick temper, Perdikakis helped the county protect tens of thousands of acres from development through agricultural preservation and Rural Legacy programs.