Frazier hired as a liaison for state

Former commissioner starts new job working with towns and counties

Carroll County

January 26, 2003|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Since she left the commissioners' office in Carroll County nearly two months ago, Robin Bartlett Frazier has moved to Anne Arundel County and taken on the role of pastor's wife -- and she has found a new job in government.

Frazier, who lost her bid for re-election in the September Republican primary, is working in Maryland's Office of Intergovernmental Relations as a $38,037-a-year liaison between the state and governments in Maryland's counties and towns.

"I will be the eyes and ears for the governor, relaying information in both directions," said Frazier, who started the as-yet-untitled job Jan. 15, the day Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. was inaugurated. "Whether it is an initiative of the governor or an issue from a county, my job will be to bring it to the attention of the administration."

Frazier, 42, served four years on the county board of commissioners. A conservative Republican, she drew support from those who applauded her fiscal conservatism and unwavering advocacy for property rights.

Critics said she allowed growth to outpace the county's ability to deliver services, and they often blamed her for contributing to the tense relations between county and state government.

Members of the Maryland Association of Counties and the Maryland Municipal League asked the state to consider hiring a person with expertise in government relations, said Henry P. Fawell, spokesman for the governor.

"Robin fits the bill," he said. "This is not a policy-driven position. It is one that works directly with constituents."

Frazier, her husband Donald and their three daughters moved from their home in Manchester to Glen Burnie, where he accepted the assistant pastorship at Granite Baptist Church. He is to be ordained today.

The children, who formerly attended Carroll Christian Academy, have all transferred to Granite Baptist's church school.

"This has been a smooth transition with every detail taken care of," Frazier said last week. "We are very blessed."

From her office in the State House, Frazier said she would maintain her ties to Carroll. On Tuesday, Carroll will be the first county and Westminster the first municipality on a lengthy list of visits she plans for this year.

"I plan to visit every town and county," she said.

Frazier's schedule on Tuesday starts with a Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Then she will meet with the commissioners' chief of staff, Westminster's mayor and Sykesville's town manager.

"Mainly, I am getting out there, letting people know what my job is," Frazier said. "I will help people get through the bureaucracy, just on a different scale than I did as a commissioner."

In that role, Frazier pushed hard for economic development and made about 150 visits to Carroll businesses.

"She will do well in this new job because she can get things done," said John T. "Jack" Lyburn, Carroll's director of economic development. "It is good for Carroll County. We know her, and she knows us. We have a great working relationship with the state now, and this will only solidify that."

State Sen. Larry E. Haines, leader of Carroll's all-Republican delegation, said Frazier's experience in government -- she served on Carroll's planning commission before winning a commissioner seat in 1998 -- makes her an ideal liaison between the state and the counties.

"She has the experience to do well in this position," Haines said.

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