Cabinet Choices: Slowly but Surely
Six days before he takes office, Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley is announcing two more nominees today: a health-care policy expert popular with lawmakers and a top environmental official from the previous Democratic administration.
The announcements of John M. Colmers as secretary of health and mental hygiene and Shari T. Wilson as secretary of environment will bring to five the number of posts O'Malley has filled in his Cabinet of about 20 members. Both jobs require Senate confirmation.
Word of Colmers's selection, which spread through the State House yesterday as the General Assembly opened its 90-day session, was greeted enthusiastically by senior lawmakers. He would take over a sprawling agency with a $7.billion budget that includes oversight of the state's Medicaid program.
Colmers, a Baltimore resident, is senior program officer for the Milbank Memorial Fund, a New York-based philanthropic organization that works with policymakers nationally to improve health care. He also has been a board member of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and chairman of the board of CareFirst of Maryland.
Colmers came to know members of the General Assembly through earlier work as executive director of the Maryland Health Care Commission, an independent state agency that plans and develops policy for the health-care system, and as executive director of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, which approves rates for hospitals.
"John Colmers is probably the best pick that Governor-elect O'Malley could have made for that position," said House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), who worked closely with Colmers while a committee chairman in the House.
Wilson, whose pick was praised by environmentalists late yesterday, is being nominated to lead a department in which she worked as director of policy management during the administration of Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D). The agency, which has a budget of about $200.million, oversees environmental regulation and enforcement.
More recently, Wilson has worked as a lawyer for the City of Baltimore, representing agencies on environmental and land-use issues.
Dru Schmidt-Perkins, executive director of 1000 Friends of Maryland, a statewide environmental group, called Wilson "an exciting pick."
"It kind of came out of the blue, but it makes complete sense," Schmidt-Perkins said, citing Wilson's background on environmental and "smart growth" issues.
Posted by: Anonymous | January 11, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pissed | January 22, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 22, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sylvia.brown | January 22, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jan | January 22, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pissed | January 22, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 22, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pissed | January 22, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.