Charles County Receives New County Administrator

New Administrator Earns Salary of $165,000/Year

Paul W. Comfort, selected to be Charles County Maryland County Administrator. Photo courtesy of Chas. Cty. Commissioners.LA PLATA, Md. - The Charles County Commissioners on Friday announced the appointment of Paul W. Comfort (pictured at left), of Queen Anne's County, Maryland, as the new County Administrator. He will assume his new position with Charles County Government on May 22, 2007. Comfort will replace Roy E. Hancock. Hancock has been serving as Interim County Administrator since October 2005. Hancock will resume his duties as the Director of the Department of Planning and Growth Management.

As the County Administrator, Comfort will oversee all County departments and be responsible for the day-to-day management of County Government, in accordance with the policies and directives of the County Commissioners. This includes the County budget, administration of County programs, and maintenance of County facilities, among others.

Comfort was chosen from three finalists interviewed by the County Commissioners after an initial interview with a 5-member panel that included three senior County staff and two outside stakeholders: Interim County Administrator Roy Hancock, County Attorney Roger Fink, Director of Human Resources Stephen Brayman, Charles County Board of Education Vice Chairman Roberta Wise, and Minority Business Council member Mike Moses.

According to officials, the County had 53 applicants for the position, many with strong backgrounds in both government and business. After a comprehensive screening process, tracked by the County Commissioners, the panel interviewed eight semi-finalists, from which three final candidates were recommended and forwarded to interview with the County Commissioners. They included both men and women, with excellent qualifications and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

"All three individuals that we interviewed had outstanding qualities. The decision was difficult, but one stood out with professionalism, experience, and the leadership style that the County was seeking," said County Commissioner President Wayne Cooper. "He (Mr. Comfort) is familiar with Charles County and has been actively involved in statewide organizations for many years. I look forward to working with him and welcome him to Charles County."

Mr. Comfort has served as County Administrator for Queen Anne's County, Maryland, for the past four years, and is in his third term as the President of the Maryland County Administrator's Association. Queen Anne's County, like Charles County, is a Code Home Rule County with five County Commissioners. As Queen Anne's County Administrator, he supervised 12 local government departments in addition to having served as Human Resources Director and Economic Development Director.

"I was very impressed with his level of experience and expertise. I feel that he has the kind of background that made him the best candidate for the position," said Commissioner Vice President Edith J. Patterson.

Prior to his current position, Comfort spent 16 years in the passenger transportation industry, both in the public and private sector. He also has an extensive background in the media having worked in both radio and newspaper. Mr. Comfort is an attorney, with his law degree from the University of Maryland.

Comfort's contract runs through the end of 2010, with a $165,000 annual salary.

"I am honored to have been chosen as the new County Administrator for Charles County Government, and look forward to working with the County Commissioners to implement their vision and goals for the County, as well as focusing on customer service for the citizens of the County."

Comfort is married, and he and his family will relocate to Charles County.

Source: Charles County Board of Commissioners

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