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Keyword: transition team

Filled Positions That Will Play Important Roles in County Government

County Executive Johnny Olszewski today made several important personnel announcements, filling key positions that will help carry out his vision for a more livable, thriving Baltimore County. Delegate Steve Lafferty will serve as Chief Sustainability Officer, Delegate Eric Bromwell will serve as Opioid Strategy Coordinator, and Troy Williams will serve as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. All three positions were recommended by Olszewski’s transition team. Romaine Williams, who previously served as an Assistant County Attorney, has taken on a new role as Chief of Employee and Labor Relations, a newly created position that will serve as the primary liaison to county employee unions.

“The key to building a government that effectively serves all residents is building a great team, and I’m thrilled that these talented individuals will bring their experience and expertise to work on behalf of our constituents,” Olszewski said. “Baltimore County is moving forward in big ways, and these individuals will play key roles in helping to carry out our vision.”

In addition, Olszewski announced several additions to his Office of Community Engagement, which works closely with communities and constituents to directly address concerns residents have and help them access county services. The new community engagement representatives are Sonia Almonte for Council District 1, Kristin King for Council District 5, and Gabrielle Slocum for Council District 6. Mary Clay, who previously served as the engagement representative for District 1, will now be the representative for Council District 4, and Carmen Christiana will be the representative for District 3. Michelle Bernstein will continue as the representative for District 2, and Pete Kriscumas will continue as the representative for District 7.

“Our new model of community engagement ensures that constituents have direct access to the executive office, and these new additions to the team will help us ensure every constituent has a voice in the county seat,” Olszewski said.

Meet the Team Members

Steve Lafferty has served in the House of Delegates since 2007, where he has been a leader on issues related to the environment and land use. He has served as Chair of the Baltimore County House Delegation, and Chair of the Subcommittee on Land Use and Ethics and the Subcommittee on the Environment. During his years in the General Assembly, he has been recognized for his commitment to environmental sustainability by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the League of Conservation Voters and Preservation Maryland. A longtime resident of the Towson area, he has previously served as the Howard County Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning and as Director of Special Projects for the Howard County Executive. Lafferty earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, a Master of Arts from Bowling Green State University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Eric Bromwell has served in the House of Delegates since 2003, when he was one of the youngest delegates ever elected to the General Assembly. He has served as Vice Chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee, Chair of the Health Facilities and Occupations Subcommittee, and Chair of the Baltimore County House Delegation. He was chairman of the bipartisan House of Delegates Opioid Policy Committee in 2017 and 2018 and he was appointed as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Behavioral Health and Opioid Use Disorders in 2018. He has championed legislation to address the opioid crisis and worked to increase funding for treatment, and in 2018 he represented Maryland among 22 states chosen to participate in the inaugural National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Opioid Policy Fellowship. Bromwell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Salisbury University.

Bromwell and Lafferty will vacate their seats in the House of Delegates as they take on these new assignments.

“Eric and Steve have been valuable members of the House of Delegates,” said Speaker Adrienne A. Jones. “While I’m sad to lose them in the House, as a Baltimore County resident and 38 year retiree of County government, I know that they both bring an expertise that will be important additions to County Executive Olszewski’s team.”

Troy Williams has served since 2017 as a consultant on diversity and inclusion to American University’s executive leadership programs, and since 2018 as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. He has held roles with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing and the DOJ Community Relations Service, as well as with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University, a Master of Adult Education from Coppin State University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law, and a Master of Public Administration from American University.

Romaine Williams has served in the Baltimore County Office of Law since 2018, and previously served as an Assistant Attorney General and Counsel to various state agencies through the Office of the Maryland Attorney General. She has also served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Office of the Maryland Public Defender, and Executive Director of the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Goucher College, a Master of Theology from the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Sonia Almonte has worked with Johns Hopkins Healthcare since 2013, first as a Community Health Worker and more recently as a Supervisor of Community Outreach. She also works with the BSO Orchkids program, where she works to engage minority youth in music and the arts. She earned a Bachelor of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.

Kristin King worked in various roles for Baltimore Gas and Electric from 2011 to 2018, most recently as a Senior Business Analyst in Corporate Relations where she directed company-wide volunteer programs. She is completing a Bachelor of Arts to Master of Arts program at Stevenson University.

From 2016 to 2019, Gabrielle Slocum served in the Peace Corps in Panama, first as a Leadership Trainer and English Specialist and more recently as a National Teaching English Coordinator. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Towson University.

Charting the Course for the Next Four Years

County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s transition team today issued its final report, with dozens of recommendations that provide a blueprint for the work of the County Executive’s administration over the next four years.

“We have a lot of work to do to address our fiscal challenges while also advancing our shared priorities to move Baltimore County forward, and I’m grateful to our entire transition team for helping to chart the course,” Olszewski said. “Over the next four years, these recommendations will help guide our work to make county government more open and transparent, and to ensure we are providing the top notch services and programs that our residents expect and deserve.”

The Transition Team was co-chaired by Calvin G. Butler, Jr., CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, and Rachel Garbow Monroe, President and CEO of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

“The Olszewski administration has an opportunity to bring innovation to county government and progress for county residents, and I believe our report provides strong recommendations to help guide the county executive’s work,” Butler said. “It was an honor to help lead this effort to identify solutions to some of the challenges facing the county.”

“We had an inclusive process that brought together voices with a wide variety of expertise from around the region, and the result is a report that provides specific recommendations for how the Olszewski administration can build on the county’s strengths to expand opportunity in every community,” Garbow Monroe said. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help lead this transition team, and I look forward to seeing the county executive and his team make these recommendations a reality.”

The process brought together more than 100 respected thought-leaders, practitioners, community leaders and policy advocates from both the public and private sectors to participate in seven work groups and develop recommendations for making progress in key priority areas affecting all residents of Baltimore County. The seven work groups covered the broad topics of Education; Public Safety; Jobs and Economic Development; Government Reform and Innovation; Sustainability, Infrastructure and Transportation; and Health and Human Services.

Full Report

View the full Transition Report (PDF). 

Key Recommendations


  • Apply an equity lens to Baltimore County Public School’s investments, policies and practices
  • Create and publish a long-term capital project plan
  • Ensure healthy student-to-teacher, as well as student-to-support-staff ratios
  • Ensure competitive pay for educators
  • Expand Community Schools and Hunger-Free Schools
  • Expand early childhood education

Diversity, Inclusion, and Quality of Life

  • Create an Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Create a Commission on Volunteerism
  • Boost capacity of nonprofits and community associations
  • Raise the profile of the Small Business Resource Center 

Government Reform and Innovation

  • Create a CountyStat performance management system
  • Direct budget reform
    • Make the County’s fiscal practices sustainable
    • Center the budget process on goals, outcomes, and tracking metrics
    • Open up the budget process to the public
  • Modernize data practices and make data more accessible
  • Engage the public and County employees

Sustainability, Infrastructure and Transportation

  • Create an Office of Sustainability
  • Develop a 2030 Master Plan
  • Establish a climate change adaptation strategy for Baltimore County
  • Create an Office of Transportation Planning with a goal of a separate Transportation Department
  • Explore establishment of a Regional Water Authority
  • Develop a roadmap for re-invigorating the Department of Recreation and Parks

Public Safety

  • Build community trust through better community engagement, social media, resident patrols, neighborhood watch programs, PAL Centers, bias training and multi-lingual resources
  • Strengthen regional cooperation through real-time data sharing, first responder coordination, and joint training
  • Evaluate Fire, Police, and Corrections operations; technology; and HR practices
  • Strengthen services to victims of domestic violence and elder abuse
  • Convene a task force to review, revise, and improve practices and procedures related to sexual assault investigations and prosecution of allegations of sexual assault
  • Tackle the opioid crisis with expanded use of Narcan and partnering with public health agencies and providers

Health and Human Services

  • Create a health care blueprint in conjunction with a new Baltimore County Healthcare Commission
  • Conduct a data-driven assessment and potential restructuring of health-related County departments
  • Expand the collection of data focusing on health and service disparities
  • Appoint an Opioid Strategy Coordinator
  • Assess services for vulnerable populations, particularly older adults

Job Creation and Economic Development

  • Establish an Economic Development Commission
    • Create an economic blueprint
    • Design an anchor strategy
  • Expand employer-driven workforce strategies
    • Explore creation of a  workforce intermediary
    • Expand Job Connector, strategies for at-risk youth and summer programs for high school students
  • Support policies that preserve quality jobs
  • Develop an Integrated Tourism and Arts strategy
  • Design an overarching strategy for neighborhood stability and revitalization
    • Restructure County departments
    • Support community development corporations
  • Take actions that leverage the County’s high-quality housing stock to ensure a diverse and sustainable housing portfolio

Transition team meetings, progress will be updated online prior to final report being issued in January

As he continues his efforts to modernize County government, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today provided an update on his transition team’s progress, releasing the full rosters of his transition team work groups and schedule of work group meetings.

“We’re proud to have recruited a diverse coalition of thoughtful leaders from across the Baltimore region to lead our work groups and begin building a better Baltimore County,” said County Executive Olszewski. “We are laying the foundation to set goals and priorities and provide every resident access to the 21st-century government they deserve.”

Each transition work group is developing a comprehensive set of recommendations that will inform policy priorities, reform how Baltimore County does business and improve the delivery of services and resources provided by county government.

The Education Work Group is co-chaired by Diana Morris, Director, Open Society Institute and Ed Gilliss, Partner, Royston, Mueller, McLean & Reid LLP.

The members of the Education Work Group include:

  • Abby Beytin
  • Allie Carter
  • Melissa Broome
  • Yara Cheikh
  • Tony Fugett
  • Marisol Johnson
  • Tam Lynne Kelley
  • Jennifer Lynch
  • Ligia Mardari
  • Sean McComb
  • Eric Washington

The Jobs & Economic Development Work Group is co-chaired by Kim Schatzel, President, Towson University; Freeman Hrabowski, President UMBC; and Shina Parker, CEO Integrity Title.

The members of the Job Creation & Economic Development Work Group include:

  • Kirk Baumgart
  • Rick Binetti
  • Brandon Bonnano
  • Dante Daniels
  • Linda Dworak
  • Chickie Grayson
  • Jessica Hack
  • Marci Hunn
  • Joe Jones
  • Adam Kane
  • Sandra Kurtinitis
  • Erich March
  • Jon Mayers
  •  Amy Menzer
  • Sam Neuberger
  • Tommy Obrecht
  • Odette Ramos
  • Hugh Sisson

The Public Safety Work Group is co-chaired by Sheryl Goldstein, VP, Abell Foundation and Carl Jackson, Community Activist.

The members of the Public Safety Work Group include:

  • Elizabeth Alex
  • Craig Coleman                                           
  • Bryen Glass
  • Dyana Forester
  • Mary Livingston
  • Aisha Khan
  • Raees Khan
  • Ganesha Martin
  • Kevin O’Connor
  • Garry Pace
  • John Ripley
  • Anthony Russell            
  • Keith Tiedemann
  • Mark Weir
  • Alonza Williams  

The Health & Human Services Work Group is co-chaired by Talib Horne, Executive Director, Bon Secours Community Works; Gill Wylie, President, Johns Hopkins Medical Management; and Bill McCarthy, Executive Director, Catholic Charities. The members of the Health & Human Services Work Group include:

  • Lauren Averella
  • Amy Blank
  • Lisa Budlow
  • John Chessare
  • Jean Gaffney
  • Justin Holliday
  • Ricarra Jones
  • Amy Kleine
  • Dawn O’Neill
  • Mark Puente
  • Tom Smyth
  • Brock Yetso
  • Mark Yost

The Diversity, Inclusion, Quality of Life Work Group is co-chaired Vicki Almond, County Council, District 2 and Chuck Tildon, VP, United Way of Central Maryland.

The members of the Diversity, Inclusion & Quality Of Life Work Group include:

  • Rabbi Jessy Dressin
  • Sara Elalamy
  • Charles Fink
  • Doug Hoffberger
  • Linwood Jackson
  • Bobbie Laur
  • Cindy Leppert
  • Pam Newland
  • Gray Parsons
  • Susan Radke
  • Doug Riley
  • Shanaysha Sauls
  • Jason St. John
  • Morgan Streeter
  • Lisa Weiderlight

The Government Reform & Innovation Work Group is co-chaired by Beth Blauer, Executive Director, JHU GovEx; Lisa Hamilton, President & CEO, Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Roy Meyers, Professor, UMBC.

The members of the Government Reform and Innovation Work Group include:

  • Akbar Ansari
  • Sonny Appolonia
  • Mitch Butta
  • Sheldon Caplis
  • Rob Gavel
  • Mandee Heinl
  • Kevin Mooring
  • Jeff Supik
  • Shirley Supik
  • Maria Tildon

The Sustainability, Transportation, Infrastructure workgroup is co-chaired by Anwer Hasan, Senior VP, Louis Berger and Tim Regan, President, Whiting-Turner.

The members of Sustainability, Transportation & Infrastructure Work Group include:

  • Ed Adams
  • Joan Bryan
  • Chris Burton
  • Charlie Fenwick
  • John Hawks
  • Brent Howard
  • Marsha McLaughlin
  • Teresa Moore
  • Peter O’Malley
  • Klaus Philipsen
  • Scott Phillips
  • Tom Pilon
  • Rob Poleski
  • Todd Schuler
  • Jim Smith
  • Tyrone Taborn
  • Ted Venetoulis

In order to develop these recommendations, work group members are reviewing department data and consulting with policy experts and community members.

Each work group will continue their work, meeting throughout December and January and will issue a final report on January 31, 2019.

The full schedule of work group meetings is available online.

Residents can continue to monitor the transition team’s progress, submit ideas, and find information about workgroup meetings on the County’s website.

Community members can continue to submit ideas for the transition online or by emailing These community suggestions will be reviewed by the transition team and incorporated into the final report.

Revised September 11, 2017