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December 17, 2008

O'Malley's first cabinet departure: Edgerley at DBED

Gov. Martin O'Malley's office announced last night the first departure of a cabinet secretary: David Edgerley is leaving the Department of Business and Economic Development.

Traditionally, DBED has been one of the most coveted -- and challenging -- administration jobs. Coveted because it allows officials to travel the state, hob-nob with business leaders, take the occassional foreign trip and build connections that can lead to private employment down the road. Challenging, because a main role is convincing business leaders that Maryland's reputation as a high-tax, business-unfriendly state is unfounded.

Usually, there's a lot of jockeying for the spot. Edgerley's predecessor, the high-energy Aris Melissaratos, liked the job given to him by Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. so much that he lobbied hard to stay under O'Malley.

The job also can have a political tinge. Former Secretary James T. Brady resigned from the Glendening administration in protest over policy decisions, and then toyed with the idea of challenging Glendening for governor.

Edgerely came from a government background, overseeing economic development first in Allegany County, and then in Montgomery. He knows the ins and outs of public service. His resignation announcement, posted below the jump, makes a reference to his wanting to pursue a career in the private sector or education.

Usually, there's a bit more to the story. If you have any insights, we'd love to hear them.

From: David Edgerley
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:01 PM
To: *DBED (ALL)
Subject: farewell

Dear Staff,
I want to let you know that, after very careful consideration, I have decided to resign my position as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. After serving as a member of the Cabinet for two years, it is time for me to pursue other opportunities in my life. I have been honored to be associated with the DBED team and know that, with your continued good work, the State of Maryland will continue to earn its place on the world map as the preeminent Center of Education, Research and Technology. After all, Maryland is the best place to live, work and raise a family.

I have always harbored an interest to eventually pursue a career in the private/education sectors. I have decided that now is the right time to begin that new chapter. The rigors of being DBED Secretary, (not to mention the long commute!), have prepared me for this new endeavor and while I know I will miss this job, I also know this is the right decision for me and my family.

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to serve the State of Maryland in a way that few people ever have. I have given the Governor my full support to ensure that the transition to new leadership at DBED is done as smoothly and efficiently as possible. I am so proud of DBED's record of accomplishment: the Maryland Biotechnology Center, new International Division, an aggressive Tourism program, extraordinary Arts programs, BIO 2020 and the location of new businesses all around the State. This is a long and continuing legacy we can all be proud of.

I would be remiss if didn't also mention my personal thanks to each of you. You have all been a pleasure to work with! And, of course, we couldn't have been successful without the continued support of the Maryland business community and our regional and local partners. Most importantly, your work to provide quality growth is fundamental to the future of our State, our Communities and our Citizens. While my last day will be Jan. 30, 2009, please know that I will always champion the Governor's vision, and mine, of "ONE MARYLAND."
Best,
David W. Edgerley

Posted by David Nitkin at 10:13 AM | | Comments (4)
        

Comments

Unlike previous DBED chiefs, Mr. Edgerley has long experience in the State's economic development activities at the grassroots level, and understands the realities versus the political winds. No doubt, the Guv' wants to reward one of his own crony supporters with the position.

After all, Maryland is the best place to live, work and raise a family.

Maybe the author can afford the high taxes the free state charges!
I can't!
Maryland's taxes is the number one financial drag on it's residents today!

Bilrux, O'Malley appointed Edgerley to the position -- it's not like he was an Ehrlich holdover. If the Guv "wants to reward one of his own crony supporters" with a post like that, why wouldn't he have appointed a crony in the first place?

He couldn't appoint the crony upfront and first because everyone would have been looking being the new incoming Gov...however now noone will care or be looking...it's called the backdoor appoinment of nepotism!

Mr. Edgerly a very good man is probably leaving for more $ and a chance to get away from a sinking ship! Who wants to be involved with an administration that has had the highest tax raises in state history while having a failing grade of governance throughout its entire tenure?!

Peter Franchot...step on up and come on down...ur the next contestant on the Gov is right??? 2010

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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