Previous Head of Economic and Community Development Replaces the Deposed George Forrest Who Was Forced Out in a Less-Than-Graceful Maneuver by County Commissioners
LEONARDTOWN, Md. - John Savich has been appointed County Administrator for St. Mary's County Government, effective March 7, 2007. The Board of Commissioners for St. Mary's County announced the appointment at today's Commission meeting.
The County Administrator has overall responsibility for planning, supervision and assessment of the work of all County departments, under direction of the Board of County Commissioners. His responsibilities will span programmatic, budget, fiscal, administrative and personnel matters. Savich has served as Acting County Administrator since Feb. 1, 2007.
Savich replaces George Forrest who was forced out of the position by a 4-1, behind closed doors, vote of the County Commissioners in January. Republican Larry Jarboe was the only dissenting vote.
Forrest had only 4 months remaining on his contract when he was forced out. The county government initially tried to paint the expulsion as a voluntary retirement. The county government also did little to reveal that they agreed on Jan. 22 to buy out the remaining time on Forrest's contract at a cost to the taxpayers of $58,106. The buyout agreement also includes a mutual agreement that the Board and Forrest would not disparage one another.
Savich's new salary is $140,000 annually. Forrest's salary at the time of his departure was $141,356.80.
Prior to being selected for the position of County Administrator, Savich served as Director of Economic and Community Development, a position he held since May 2001. His responsibilities there included economic development, tourism, agriculture development, and housing.
During the course of his career, Savich has held a number of economic and community development positions in federal, state and local government. His responsibilities have spanned business recruitment, international trade, tourism, rural development, and technology development. He began his career working at the U.S. Economic Development Administration in Washington, D.C. During the 1980s, Mr. Savich worked for the State of Michigan as deputy director for community development, director of strategy and forecasting, and state tourism director. His career then shifted to the west coast, where he served the State of Washington from 1991 to 2001, with responsibilities first as tourism director and then as director of the State's trade and economic development programs.
Savich has served on a variety of boards encompassing development, finance, tourism, international trade, housing and technology development. Currently, he is a member of the executive committee of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, President of the Maryland Economic Development Association and a member of the board of directors of the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce, the St. Mary's County Community Development Corporation, and the Southern Maryland Economic Development Association.