Pittman Adds Top-Level Staffers as He Prepares to Take Over in Anne Arundel

    Anne Arundel County Executive-elect Steuart Pittman (D) on Tuesday announced several appointments to key county jobs.

    Pittman will take over on Dec. 3, succeeding County Executive Steve Schuh (R) – whom Pittman ousted in an upset.

    “As my team and I prepare to take office, we are working to ensure that we are ready to serve our constituents on ‘Day One,’” Pittman said in a statement. He announced the following appointments Tuesday:

    Gregory Swain, currently a supervising county attorney with the county Office of Law, will serve as acting county attorney until the Pittman administration finds a permanent county attorney.  Swain currently supervises the “Government Operations” attorneys – meaning those overseeing code enforcement, land use issues, animal control, tax sales, purchasing, and legislation. Swain will take over from the outgoing county attorney, Nancy Duden.

    Doug Hollmann will be reappointed as administrative hearing Officer. Hollmann previously served in that position under three county executives, from 2008 through February 2018. The hearing officer conducts public hearings on all petitions for zoning reclassifications, special exceptions and variances. They may also hear appeals of certain construction contract disputes.

    Janice Hayes-Williams will be a senior adviser for Community Engagement. Hayes-Williams is the former legislative aide for outgoing County Councilmember Chris Trumbauer (D) and currently serves as head of Constituent Services for the City of Annapolis. As part of her position, Hayes-Williams will also oversee appointments for Board and Commissions.

    Pete Baron will be the county’s government affairs officer. Baron is a seasoned political operative who has almost 20 years of experience in Maryland local and state government. He is the former director of Member Services for Maryland Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), and worked as a legislative director for the Maryland Hospital Association and the Service Employees International Union, Maryland and DC State Council. He was Pittman’s campaign manager.

    Brandi Francis will serve as the acting public information officer. Francis is currently the director of communications for the county’s Department of Aging and Disabilities In addition, she serves as the legislative liaison for the department.

    James Kitchin and Jenese Jones will serve as constituent services officers. Kitchin is a former high school teacher and is currently a public policy doctoral student at University of Maryland. He lives in Crofton and was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for County Council in District 7, losing to attorney Jessica Haire (R). Jones is a former classroom teacher and is currently the executive director of Faith Leaders for Excellent Schools. She lives in Russett and was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for District 32 delegate.

    Earlier this month, Pittman announced Ben Birge as chief administrative officer and Jennifer Purcell as chief of staff.

    Birge is currently the manager of Prince George’s CountyStat, the county program that works to ensure county services are operating in an efficient, productive, and cost-effective manner. Prior to CountyStat, Birge served as Prince George’s deputy budget director.

    Purcell most recently was the interim executive director at the Maryland Horse Council and a strategic planning consultant for several nonprofit organizations. Prior to that, she was a faculty member at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Before that she worked in various roles as an administrator or program managers for nonprofit and academic institutions.

    “I’m excited about this team,” said Pittman. “After the inauguration, we’ll be taking a close look at the roles and duties of all the County Executive’s staff. Working with the transition team, I expect we’ll make some changes in how that office is set up. But for now, we’re ready to hit the ground running on Dec. 3.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.