Skip Navigation

Image of the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: director

Chief of Bureau of Engineering and Construction Thomas Kiefer Named Acting Director

Baltimore County Director of Department of Public Works Steve Walsh announced today that he will retire from Baltimore County government, effective May 22.

“Steve has been a steady hand, a thoughtful leader, and invaluable partner in our work to build a better Baltimore County,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “On behalf of the people of Baltimore County, I extend my gratitude for his decades of dedicated service and I wish him and his entire family the best in his well-deserved retirement from County service.”

“It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Baltimore County for more than 30 years,” Director Walsh said. “The hardworking people of this department have inspired me every single day and I’m confident that the department will continue to provide services for the residents of Baltimore County in the years to come.”

Mr. Walsh first joined Baltimore County government in 1990 as a water resources engineer and worked his way through the ranks of the Department of Public Works culminating in his appointment as Director in 2016.

With Director Walsh’s retirement, County Executive Olszewski has appointed Thomas Kiefer, Chief of the Bureau of Engineering and Construction, to serve as Acting Director, effective May 22, while a search for a permanent replacement is conducted.

Mr. Kiefer first came to Baltimore County as an engineer in the Bureau of Utilities in 2006 tasked with helping lead the County’s modernization of the sanitary sewer infrastructure. He advanced to the Chief of the Bureau of Utilities in 2012 and was later selected as the Chief of the Bureau of Engineering and Construction in 2016. Kiefer is the first person in County history to have been Chief of both Bureaus of Utilities and Engineering and Construction.

He has over 40 years of design, construction and operations experience and, prior to joining Baltimore County government, worked for a local engineering consulting firm as well as a global engineering construction company. Kiefer holds a Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, an MBA from Wilmington College, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Maryland and Delaware.

As Acting Director of the Department of Public Works, Mr. Kiefer will be responsible for technical management and oversight of 957 employees and a $400 million operating budget with five main business units including Highways, Utilities, Engineering and Construction, Solid Waste Management, and Transportation.

“Tom is eminently qualified to provide steady leadership through this transition and I’m confident that he will help as Baltimore County begins the long road to recovery,” Olszewski said. “During his years of service, he has been involved in every aspect of management, and he has gained the respect of those in the department and across County government.”


Veteran Deputy Nominated as Permanent Director

County Executive Johnny Olszewski today nominated Edward Blades to serve as the Director of Budget and Finance, a critical position that oversees formulation of the County budget and manages the County’s finances.

Blades has served as Deputy Director of Budget and Finance since 2012, and has served in the County’s Office of Budget and Finance since 1996. In his role as Deputy Director, he has played a critical role in developing and managing the County’s operating and capital budgets, and he has supervised a talented team of budget analysts. He has implemented various budget and financial software system upgrades and developed reporting structures to generate efficiencies in data collection and analysis.

“Ed is a dedicated public servant who brings to this position years of relevant experience and a wealth of institutional knowledge,” Olszewski said. “He knows County government inside and out, and has been invaluable over the last few months as we managed a challenging budget season and addressed a structural deficit.”

In his role as Director of Budget and Finance, Blades will be charged with managing the annual operating and capital budget formulation process, as well as overseeing:

  • 911 Communications Center
  • Accounting
  • Insurance Administration
  • Investment and Debt Management
  • Payroll
  • Property Management
  • Purchasing
  • Retirement
  • Taxpayer Services
  • Vehicle Operations and Maintenance

In his new role, Blades will also oversee efforts to increase transparency into the County budget. Earlier this month, the County unveiled an Open Budget platform, providing more transparency into how the County spends taxpayer dollars.

Blades has been serving as acting director of Budget and Finance following the retirement of his predecessor, Keith Dorsey, who served with the County for 35 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix.

Keywords: blades, budget, director, ed, finance, name

 
 
Revised September 11, 2017