Tuesday, November 28, 2006


An interesting column about post-election transition teams from the Sun and how they've swelled in size over the last few decades.

When Harry Hughes was elected governor in 1978, his transition team consisted of himself and a few trusted advisers.

Today, though, Hughes is co-chairing a 47-member transition team helping Peter Franchot ease into the Maryland comptroller's office, as well as serving on the 42-member transition team of Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley. He somehow escaped being named to the third transition team that is in business these days - City Council President Sheila Dixon's 47-member group, marshaling her move into O'Malley's soon-to-be vacated mayor's office.
I'm not particularly alarmed or concerned about the large number of volunteers willing to spend their own time crafting a plan for a new administration. But I will point out that Howard's County Executive-elect has a team of only nine members, though with subcommittees being formed, the number will likely rise.

The best take on transition teams, I think, comes at the end of the above-linked column:
"You want to do something for people who were of value to you during the campaign," said Alan Ehrenhalt, executive editor of the Washington-based magazine Governing. "It's an honorific. People like to say, 'The governor listens to me.' You're giving small rewards, particularly to people you might not be able to reward any other way."

Transition teams have grown along with government in general, he believes - there are simply more positions to fill these days.

Speaking of Ken Ulman's transition team, there will be a public input session next Wednesday, December 6 at 7:30 pm in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building. Residents will have an opportunity to share their thoughts on the future of the county with the team.

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