Gov.-elect O'Malley to face variety of possibly divisive issues

November 09, 2006|By Meredth Cohn | Meredth Cohn,Sun Reporter

Transportation

The two leaders of the state's biggest transportation hubs are Republican appointees who are expected to stay, at least initially.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. kept the heads of the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport when he took office nearly four years ago, although both were later replaced. Martin O'Malley is not expected to move quickly to fire those professionals now in place.

Timothy L. Campbell, executive director of the Maryland Aviation Administration, is responsible for BWI, which includes about 20 million passengers a year. And F. Brooks Royster III, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, oversees more than 8 million tons of cargo at the port.

"I can't see O'Malley upsetting the apple cart in the state because he didn't as mayor of the city," said Richard Clinch, with the University of Baltimore. "There is a huge amount of money at stake."

There are transportation funding issues at stake, however.

In major corridors around the state, Ehrlich favored a rapid bus system and tolls to pay for roads. O'Malley has said he leaned more to rail and fees or taxes to fund roads. O'Malley has said he did not approve of the funding through bonds for a new highway connecting Interstates 95 and 270 in the Washington suburbs, but he would not reopen debate. Ehrlich favored a third crossing over the Chesapeake Bay while O'Malley had wanted to explore ferries.

Meredith Cohn

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