Six candidates apply to finish the remainder of Harkins' term

June 26, 2005

Tuesday, the County Council released the names of those who requested to be considered as candidates to replace departing County Executive James M. Harkins. These are letters of intent that the candidates were required to submit to the council, which will vote for a successor July 5.

Longtime resident, employee with county Health Department

Please accept this letter as my formal intent to apply for the position of County Executive of Harford County.

I am a 40-year resident of Harford County and a 30-year employee of the Harford County Health Department, a licensed Social Worker Associate with the State of Maryland. I obtained my Associate degree here in the county from Harford Community College and my Bachelor's of Science from Morgan State University in 1976.

Over my tenure with Harford County Health Department, I have both administered as well as orchestrated the delicate egos of a variety of professionals as well as being able to meet the needs of the chronically mentally ill in Harford County. My main strengths have been in the area of Social Services having been the initiator for several nonprofits that have serviced the medical needs of the mentally ill and the homeless.

Due to my varied job interests and duties, I have a vast knowledge of, and many working relationships with a large number of county agencies. I bring to this position a willingness not to micro-manage, but to rely on the experience of present department heads as well as the county's backbone, Mr. John O' Neil.

In closing, I hold no political aspirations having just retired from the Harford County Health Department. Though I am a registered Republican, I have no strong political affiliation.

Thank you in advance for accepting and considering this letter of intent.

Frederick H. Ritzel Street

Chief of Public Works Bureau of Construction Management

This letter is written to express my sincere interest in the position of County executive being vacated by the Hon. Mr. James M. Harkins on June 30, 2005.

I have, for the past seven years, held the position of Harford County Department of Public Works Bureau of Construction Management Chief, and feel that my professional business outlook and ability to amicably work to resolve problems with professionals, residents and employees of this county is only one of my strong points. I am retired with twenty-five years of employment from county government.

I worked as a lab manager and in the Department of Public Works Engineering Department, and worked five years in the private construction sector. I am honest and hard working, straight forward but easy to work with and a great problem solver, familiar with most of the issues facing Harford County and with current policies and procedures.

A detailed list of prominent references and resume are available upon request, and I would welcome the opportunity to meet or speak with you concerning my consideration for the Harford County Executive position.

Thomas Edward Norris II

Bel Air

Former Maryland state senator seeks county executive position

Please consider this as my letter of intent to you of my desire to be considered as a candidate in completing the remaining term of County Executive James M. Harkins, pursuant to the procedural guidelines adopted by the Harford County Council at its meeting on June 14, 2005. It is my understanding that only those people who meet the qualifications of the office of county executive and submit such a letter prior to 5 p.m. on June 20, 2005, will be considered. It is also my understanding that the County Council will make a decision at its regularly scheduled meeting on July 5, 2005.

David R. Craig Havre de Grace

Former Havre de Grace mayor, past County Council president

I would like to submit my name for consideration as interim Harford County Executive.

I emphasize the word interim because if appointed by the Council for the open position, I will not be a candidate for County Executive in 2006. My intention by doing so is to let the electoral process run its normal course, so that the candidates that vie for this position will all play on a level field and the county voters will be able, during the primaries and general election in 2006, to evaluate the candidates without being influenced by a sitting incumbent appointed by the Harford County Council.

My credentials are well known to you and I feel that I am fully capable to handle the assignment. Considering that I supported most all County Executive [James M.] Harkin's initiatives [and] am familiar with the staff, the transition will be practically seamless.

To summarize my experience, here are the highlights of my activities:

1998-2002 County Council President;

1989-1997 Mayor, Havre de Grace;

Always balanced budgets, surplus in general funds, no increased taxes;

1983-1989 Councilman, Havre de Grace;

1953 to present Medical Doctor, retired in 1987; Chief of Medical Staff of Hartford Memorial Hospital for 8 years and 6 years as chief of Emergency Room Physicians;

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