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CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

News from around the Baltimore region

June 22, 2005

ROCKVILLE

O'Malley to visit turf of Democratic opponent

Two days after raising $2 million for his all-but-declared campaign for governor, Mayor Martin O'Malley will travel today to the Montgomery County city that gave birth to the political career of his chief Democratic opponent, Douglas M. Duncan.

O'Malley will be in Rockville for a two-hour meeting with that city's mayor, Larry Giammo, to discuss issues about urban revitalization, growth and affordable housing, according to a news release from O'Malley's office. Giammo visited Baltimore in November 2001 to study O'Malley's CitiStat program, and the visit today is being billed as a continuation of that exchange of information between city leaders.

The politics, however, are hard to avoid. Duncan, Montgomery County's executive, got his start in politics in Rockville where he served on its council from 1982 to 1988. He was mayor from 1988 to 1994, when he was elected county executive. Duncan and O'Malley are widely expected to compete for the state Democratic Party's nomination to challenge Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. next year.

O'Malley's news release mentions that the mayor grew up in Montgomery County and that he still has family living there. While the visit with Giammo is being conducted on city taxpayer time, O'Malley will also make time for a campaign stop in Montgomery County at the Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club at 7:30 p.m.

- Doug Donovan

HARFORD COUNTY

Six people apply to fill Harkins' executive post

The mayor of Havre de Grace, a former Harford County Council president and a former councilwoman are among six people who have applied to succeed departing Harford County Executive James M. Harkins, according to a list released last night by the County Council.

The council, which will vote July 5 on a successor for Harford's top government job, said the applicants are: Mayor David R. Craig; Dr. Gunther D. Hirsch of Havre de Grace, a former council president, and former Councilwoman Susan B. Heselton of Joppa, who lost re-election bids in 2002; Lucie L. Snodgrass of Street, a member of the county library board; Thomas Edward Norris II of Bel Air; and Frederick H. Ritzel of Street.

To be considered, a candidate from the list must be nominated at the July 5 meeting by a council member and then win a simple majority vote from the seven-member body.

Seven people submitted letters of intent to the council administrator by the Monday deadline, but one was considered a prank - giving the name Thomas Richard Harrison Bobo "of Nowhere, Maryland" and including a picture of a clown in the upper right-hand corner. The name was mentioned by Council President Robert S. Wagner.

"We have one that we believe was a bogus one, but that was submitted anyways," Wagner said before reading the name. The new county executive would take office July 6 and serve the remaining 16 months of Harkins' term. Harkins is leaving June 30 to become director of the Maryland Environmental Service, an independent, quasi-state agency that operates water and wastewater plants throughout the state.

County Administrator John J. O'Neill Jr. will serve as acting county executive until a replacement is sworn in.

Harkins' departure marks the first time a Harford County executive has left office in midterm since the county instituted charter government in 1972. Because the county charter gives little guidance on a midterm replacement, the council worked to come up with a procedure to choose a successor. Last week, the council gave final approval to its plan.

The selection process will "be smooth," Councilman Dion F. Guthrie said. Councilwoman Veronica L. Chenowith agreed, saying the person elected will be expected to "hit the ground running."

"We will be choosing the person who is most qualified," she said.

Harkins, the only Republican head of a Maryland county with charter government, was elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. He would be prevented by term limits from running again.

- Danny Jacobs

BALTIMORE

Police identify two victims found dead over weekend

City police yesterday identified the victims of two recent homicides.

Kevin Carmody, 36, of the 300 block of E. University Parkway was found Sunday inside a vacant home in the 2700 block of W. North Ave., said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman.

Sydney Allen, 24, of the 3300 block of Powhatan Ave. was found dead Sunday on a tennis court at Hanlon Park in Northwest Baltimore, Harris said. Allen had been shot in the head.

BALTIMORE COUNTY

Essex officer wins gold medal at police Olympics contest

A three-year veteran with the Baltimore County Police Department won the gold medal in the Toughest Cop Around competition at this past weekend's Police Officer Olympics in Allegheny, Pa.

Officer Tim Ende, assigned to the Essex precinct, earned 200 points more than his closest competitor. He finished in second place last year. Officers from all over the East Coast compete.

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