Baker greets Prince George's government employees
Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) has been making the rounds of government holiday parties this week, offering pep talks to many of the county's 6,000 employees as they confront some daunting budget numbers.
The county got a little blow-back Friday from Gov. Martin J. O'Malley's budget chief T. Eloise Foster, who wrote a letter to Prince George's Schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.
"Like the moms and dads who live in Maryland, government must learn to live within constrained budgets," she said in the letter. "I would suggest that you look to streamline administrative and non-classroom functions."
On Friday, Baker addressed staffers and council members at the council's annual office party before opening the doors of the fifth-floor executive suite in the county administration building in Upper Marlboro to hundreds who dropped by to greet the new executive and get their photos snapped with him.
Earlier, Baker told council members and their staffs that they would face the challenges together. "We have a whole lot of work ahead of us, and you are just the right people to do it," he said.
He also invited the council employees to visit him three floors above their second-floor offices. "Come up to the fifth floor," he said. "I am lonely up there."
And when they did come up, along with hundreds of other county employees for the afternoon gathering, he offered this:
"This is your office, your floor, your building," Baker said as he shushed the crowd for a brief greeting. "Feel free to wander around."
On Thursday, Baker received a hero's welcome at the holiday party for the troubled Department of Housing and Community Development.
Employees stood in a reception line offering bear hugs and hearty handshakes.
"Come on in, this is a fun administration," Baker said.
Baker told the staff that he knows the department and the county has its challenges, but he wanted to thank each employee for their diligence.
Miranda S. Spivack and Ovetta Wiggins
| December 17, 2010; 6:13 PM ET
Tags: prince george's county; rushern l. baker; t. eloise foster; william hite
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