Howard County executive hires Baltimore Sun editor, shifts other county workers

December 13, 2010|By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun

Howard County executive Ken Ulman has hired David Nitkin, a Baltimore Sun editor, to be the county's Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs as part of a shuffle of existing positions that affects three other current county officials, but creates no new positions.

Acting Recreation and Parks Director John Byrd, an 18-year county employee who has held the acting director's job since former director Gary J. Arthur died in May, got the top job permanently Monday. He will earn $124,093, a $20,000 increase, according to county officials.

Nitkin, a Baltimore Sun reporter and editor since 1999, starts Dec. 27 as the county's chief lobbyist at a salary of $101,088. He's taking the position now held by Ned Cheston, who is moving to serve as the county's acting cable administrator at a salary of $98,426, virtually his existing pay. Ulman spokesman Kevin Enright said Nitkin's job will also include policy development – ideas that might result in legislation.

Lori Sherwood, the county's $82,347 cable administrator, is leaving for a grant-funded contractual job running the $72 million Inter-County Broadband network, which she helped the county win approval for as part of the federal economic stimulus.

Nitkin, 44, the only new county employee in the mix, has a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and said he's wanted to use that knowledge at some point. "It's a career path that I've long envisioned," he said. He's looking forward, he said, to working on the inside of government and also having the opportunity "to work on important issues in the county that's home to me."

Nitkin lives in Ellicott City with his wife Karen, also a writer, and their two children.

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