Balto. Co. agency head named

David Carroll to lead sustainability office

April 23, 2008|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,Sun reporter

David A.C. Carroll says he remembers his father teaching him the importance of reattaching the tufts of grass that come loose during rounds of golf.

The rule, Carroll says, might be a good way to summarize the mantra of the newly created Baltimore County Office of Sustainability: "Replace your divot."

Carroll, who has been the director of the county's Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management for the past seven years, was named yesterday by County Executive James T. Smith Jr. to head the Office of Sustainability, a Cabinet-level position.

"Sustainability is a basic concept," Smith said at a news conference at Vincent Farm Elementary School, which is being built in the White Marsh area. "It's the responsibility to meet the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."

Smith nominated Jonas A. Jacobson, a senior adviser, to replace Carroll. Jacobson's appointment must be confirmed by the County Council. Carroll's appointment doesn't require council approval.

Carroll, who was the head of the state Department of the Environment under Gov. William Donald Schaefer, said his first priority will be completing a greenhouse gas emission inventory - a measure of the impact county government services have on the environment from such tasks as picking up trash from homes and air-conditioning government office buildings.

Within six months, Carroll said, he hopes to complete a draft strategy for reducing energy use and environmental impact. "You can't wait until you have all of the answers," he said. "If we did that with the Chesapeake Bay, it'd be long gone."

Part of the work will entail defining sustainability, Carroll said. "This is an opportunity to define it for Baltimore County government and its citizens," Carroll said.

He said he also plans to develop a comprehensive and authoritative Web site for residents about energy conservation and effects that residents and businesses have on air and water quality.

Kathy Reiner Martin, chairwoman of the county's Advisory Commission on Environmental Quality, said the group had recommended that Smith create such a position. And, she said, the group was pleased with the county's executive's choices in both Carroll and Jacobson.

Jacobson came to the county last year from the state Department of the Environment, where he had been a deputy secretary and the director of waste management. He has also been a lawyer and a lobbyist.

Carroll's annual salary will remain $141,670, and Jacobson's salary will remain $145,000, county officials said.

Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder, an Overlea-Fullerton Democrat, said the appointments were an "important first step" to fulfill a council resolution in February that directed county agencies and the Planning Board to develop a countywide "sustainability program."

laura.barnhardt@baltsun.com.

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