- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 25, 2007

Douglas M. Duncan is going back to college. The former Montgomery County executive was appointed Thursday as vice president for administrative affairs at the University of Maryland at College Park. He fills the position vacated in January by John D. Porcari, who joined Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Cabinet as secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

Mr. Duncan, who starts work April 4, will oversee seven departments: University Human Resources, Comptroller, Public Safety, Facilities Management, Environmental Safety, Business Services and Procurement & Supply.

“I am truly excited that the University of Maryland has been able to recruit a leader of Doug’s stature,” university President C.D. Mote Jr. said. “He is a visionary person who can get the job done.”

Mr. Duncan brings a long and distinguished track record of success, having served an unprecedented three terms as county executive for Montgomery County (1994 to 2006), the state’s largest jurisdiction with an annual budget of $3.9 billion and 9,000 employees.

As county executive, Mr. Duncan invested heavily in public education, increasing funding by more than 90 percent.

Mr. Duncan also served three terms as mayor of Rockville (1987 to 1993), the second-largest city in the state, and on the Rockville City Council.

“I am very excited to begin a new chapter in my service to the state and region at the University of Maryland,” Mr. Duncan said. “I value the expertise found among faculty, staff and students and welcome their participation and partnership in our efforts.”

• Ehrlich endorses

Former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has announced his choice for president.

Mr. Ehrlich Thursday endorsed former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a Republican.

“I would ask Republicans and Democrats and independents alike to look at the mayor’s record in New York City — what he did, not what he said but what he did. And that record speaks for itself,” Mr. Ehrlich said during a press conference in Chevy Chase.

Mr. Giuliani then named Mr. Ehrlich the Mid-Atlantic regional chairman for the Giuliani campaign.

“I am honored to have the support of Governor Ehrlich,” Mr. Giuliani said. “As governor, Bob Ehrlich was never afraid to take on difficult challenges and find the right solutions for his constituents.”

The appointment is the latest in a series of posts the former governor has accepted since leaving office just over two months ago.

Mr. Ehrlich, 49, took the reins of the new Maryland office of the Womble, Carlyle and Snyder law firm last month and was appointed to the board of the Maryland Public Policy Institute, a state think tank focused on free-market-based policies.

Mr. Ehrlich also will host a two-hour talk show from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays beginning this week on WBAL Radio (AM-1090).

• No reservoir

Creating a new Western Maryland reservoir is not on the government’s agenda, an Army Corps of Engineers official said last week, six weeks after Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett raised the prospect at a public meeting.

Robert S. Pace, Baltimore District planning chief, said the corps has received no expressions of interest from local governments and has no funding or appropriation to study such a project.

“At this point, without the local expression of interest and without funding, we’re not actively looking at it at this point in time,” Mr. Pace said.

Mr. Bartlett, Maryland Republican, asked the corps on Feb. 5 to consider damming Town Creek, a Potomac River tributary in Allegany County, to increase the water supply for fast-growing communities closer to the District. Mr. Bartlett said local community leaders and elected officials also hoped that a new mountain lake would attract tourists and real estate development and limit flood damage in the region.

Col. Peter W. Mueller, Baltimore District commander and district engineer, said at the meeting that the corps would first need a request from a state, county or municipal government to look at a specific problem a dam could solve.

m Quiet, please

Frederick County, Md., commissioners are considering a noise ordinance in response to complaints from Myersville residents about dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

The ordinance would set fines and limits on sound levels. It resembles state standards that are on the books but no longer enforced. If approved, the county sheriff’s office would be in charge of enforcement.

The commissioners voted Tuesday night to hold a public hearing on the proposal.

• Another goodbye

Virginia state Sen. Charles R. Hawkins, the last of the old-style legislative orators and the Senate’s most tireless defender of Virginia’s dwindling tobacco farms, announced last week that he will retire.

Mr. Hawkins, 63, is among the moderate Republicans who have dominated the Senate for nearly 10 years. He is chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.

“After 26 years … I’m burned out,” Mr. Hawkins told the Associated Press on Tuesday. “The last 2 years, my wife and I have been struggling with it.”

Mr. Hawkins was the third senior Republican to announce that he will not seek re-election this year with all 40 Senate seats and all 100 House seats up for election.

A day later, Delegate John S. “Jack” Reid, 64, Henrico County Republican and author of some of the General Assembly’s most distinctive legislation the past 18 years, said he will not seek re-election this fall.

Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr., 68, Winchester Republican, announced in an emotional speech in February that he will not return, and the Senate’s ranking member, John H. Chichester, 69, said earlier this month that he will retire.

“We’re all aging out at the same time,” Mr. Hawkins said.

Mr. Hawkins said he will remain as chairman of the state Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, which compensates tobacco farmers for decreased tobacco quotas and economically helps areas hit hard by the tobacco downturn.

Mr. Hawkins, who lives in Pittsylvania County, won the 19th District Senate seat in 1991. Besides his Agriculture Committee chairmanship, he also holds a seat on the budget-writing Senate Finance Committee and heads its subcommittee on transportation.

Mr. Hawkins in 2005 headed a legislative-dominated task force that searched for ways to fund road, rail and mass-transit projects in Virginia, particularly its most crowded regions. Despite the panel’s work, the 2006 General Assembly reached a stalemate on the trans- portation issue, meeting as late as September without a solution.

Mr. Hawkins served in the House of Delegates for 10 years before being elected to the Senate in 1981.

“Charlie Hawkins has been a mainstay of the Virginia legislature for 26 years, and I deeply respect his service to the commonwealth and the legislature,” Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said.

• This column is based in part on wire service reports.

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