Baltimore Mayor-elect Brandon M. Scott (D), who is taking office at noon on Tuesday, announced the names of his two top aides on Monday.
Scott said that Christopher J. Shorter will be nominated for the role of city administrator ― the first in Baltimore’s history ― while Michael Huber will be chief of staff, the same job he held for Scott while Scott has served as city council president.
“Hiring Baltimore’s first chief administrative officer has been one of my top priorities, and I look forward to working closely with Mr. Shorter to focus on how we effectively, reliably, and equitably deliver services to all of our residents,” Scott said in a statement. “My City Administrator, Chief of Staff and I will work closely together to fix what’s broken in city government and restore the public’s trust.”
Shorter currently serves as assistant city manager in Austin, Texas, where he oversees a portfolio of departments that support health, environment, culture and lifelong learning. Scott said that Shorter has played a pivotal role in Austin’s COVID-19 response and issues around homelessness and support for vulnerable populations.
Previously, Shorter served as director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Public Works, where he oversaw the expansion of the District’s environmental sustainability portfolio and led the introduction of advanced technology to transform DPW’s operations.
Shorter also served as the director of Agency Operations in the Office of the City Administrator in D.C. and served as chief operating officer for the D.C. Department of Health.
In 2019, as a member of the City Council, Scott introduced a charter amendment that requires mayors to appoint a professionally-trained and experienced chief administrative officer. The charter amendment appeared on the November ballot and was overwhelmingly approved by the voters.
The positions of city administrator and deputy city administrator will be generated from existing mayor’s office resources, and will not require additional positions or an increase in the budget. Most jurisdictions in Maryland already have charter-mandated city or county administrators.
Huber, who will become chief of staff in the mayor’s office, has held a similar title at the council president’s office under Scott, but has also served in a variety of other roles in the council president’s office, including as director of Legislative Affairs and director of Business and Economic Development.