Week In Review

May 07, 2006

Annapolis

Owens to run for comptroller

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens said Thursday that she has scrapped plans for a congressional bid and will run for state comptroller, fresh evidence that political legend William Donald Schaefer could be vulnerable.

Schaefer, the 84-year-old incumbent, has a decades-old unbeaten streak at the polls, but the entry of the two-term executive in the Democratic primary is a signal that his alliance with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and penchant for making impolitic remarks are spelling trouble for him.

Owens, 62, said she will make her ability to work with Democrats and Republicans alike a cornerstone of her campaign. She said she senses a movement to throw out incumbents, sparked by rising gasoline prices and the handling of the state's electricity deregulation.

"I have proven that I can work with people of any party [and] can be a consensus-builder," said Owens, who became Anne Arundel's first female executive in 1998.

"On the Board of Public Works, that would be a strength," she said, referring to the three-member panel that approves most state spending, and which Schaefer - former Baltimore mayor and two-term governor - uses as a platform for his views that have sometimes offended groups ranging from immigrants to AIDS activists.

Owens joins Del. Peter Franchot of Montgomery County in the primary race. Some observers say they think Owens' entry will help Schaefer because it will split the voters who oppose him, but others think the conservative-leaning county executive from the Baltimore area will eat into Schaefer's base and help Franchot, a liberal Democrat from the Washington suburbs.

Maryland section, Friday

Anne Arundel

School board names new superintendent

Impressed by his local ties, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education named a Montgomery County administrator Wednesday to lead the 74,000-student school system.

Kevin Maxwell, 54, lives in nearby Bowie, and his twin daughters graduated from Arundel High School, points that gave him an edge over the two out-of-state finalists.

"The fact that he was very familiar with the way Maryland works was a plus," said Tricia Johnson, vice president of the board. "The budget process and the issues we deal with are different than other states.

After the board negotiates a contract with Maxwell, it will officially vote to hire him.

Maxwell would start July 1, replacing Eric J. Smith, who resigned in November.

Maryland section, Thursday

Crownsville

County police shoot man armed with gun

A Herald Harbor man was shot in the stomach Tuesday outside his home by an Anne Arundel County police officer he allegedly threatened with a loaded rifle.

Ricky Alan Brown, 49, of the 1100 block of Sunrise Beach Road was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Officer Stephen Taylor, the 10-year police veteran who shot Brown, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, said Lt. David D. Waltemeyer Jr., a county police spokesman.

Brown is accused of aiming a rifle loaded with 22 rounds of ammunition at Taylor, who arrived at Brown's home with two other officers at 3 p.m. Tuesday after getting a report of a possibly suicidal and intoxicated person there.

Brown came outside with the gun and told the officers to get off his property, Waltemeyer said.

Maryland section, Wednesday

Crownsville

Deal keeps agencies at hospital campus

The Crownsville Hospital Center campus will not land in the hands of developers, and more than a dozen nonprofit organizations can keep their offices there, according to a tentative deal hammered out Wednesday by Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Future ownership of the 648-acre state property remains undecided. Owens, a Democrat, said she and Ehrlich, a Republican, will meet again this week to discuss whether the county will take over the grounds of the former psychiatric hospital and, if so, who will pay for an estimated $25 million environmental cleanup.

Owens asked to meet with Ehrlich after the state agency that oversees the property, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, threatened in February to remove the nonprofits - including drug treatment facilities and a food bank - to prepare the land for a potential sale.

Maryland section, Thursday

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