ELKTON — The Cecil County Council approved all of County Executive Danielle Hornberger’s proposed directors Tuesday, during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting, setting up her administration prior to the end of the year.
All of the directors were unanimously approved by the council, while county attorney nominee Lawrence Scott was approved by a 4-1 vote.
Taking over as Hornberger’s Director of Administration will be former Cecil County Council member Dan Schneckenburger. Schneckenburger previously served on the Cecil County Council from 2014-2018 and most recently worked in Florida before returning to Cecil County to assist Hornberger in her transition as the county executive.
During the council’s 4:30 p.m. work session, Schneckenburger said, “I would tell you it is almost a dream job for me to be able to lead this qualified team.”
According to a county press release, Schneckenburger served as Vice-Chair of the Cecil County Chartering Committee in 2010 and the Cecil County Strategic Planning Committee in 2012. He also brings experience in the county’s business community, sitting on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce and Susquehanna Workforce Network.
“I am honored to be appointed by the County Executive to serve as the Director of Administration, and I am excited for the opportunity to serve this county once more, in this important role,” Schneckenburger said in a written statement.
The new director of human resources will be Michelle Campbell Ennis, a native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, who noted she is new to Cecil County. During the work session, Ennis said she has extensive knowledge in government operations including almost 18 years overall in governmental positions.
During the 7 p.m. council meeting, Ennis said she has a PhD from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and she is also a graduate of human resources management from Wilmington University. Ennis said she has 16 years of experience in human resources, 11 years of which she has worked as a human resources director.
The new director of information technology will be current Rising Sun Town Commissioner Dave Warnick. Warnick said he has had a 20-year career in the information technology field, the last 10 of which he has served in leadership roles. Warnick noted that his most recent experience was working with Bank of American where he supported some 50,000 people. Prior to being a Rising Sun town commissioner, Warnick also served as a planning and zoning commissioner for the town.
During the council’s work session, Council President Bob Meffley (R-District 1) asked Warnick about his experience in cyber security. Warnick responded that he has a fair amount of experience in the area and that he and Hornberger had discussed cyber security as one of his first focal points in taking over the role.
The new director of economic development will be Steven Overbay, who comes to Cecil County from his role as Deputy Director for the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development.
During the council’s work session, Overbay said he had some great conversations with Hornberger and that the two share a lot of the same thoughts about diversification of the economy and the importance of “not having too many eggs in one basket.”
He said he will be looking at how to position Cecil County for growth in the right way as well as how to move forward over the next several years.
During the council’s legislative session, he said he will be doing everything he can to help represent all businesses from small businesses to agribusiness with a focus on customer service.
The new director of emergency services will be lifelong Cecil County resident and current Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome. Tome touted his long career in the fire service, including being an active 41 year member of the Water Witch Fire Company, a member of the Perryville Fire Company and his service as the acting assistant fire chief for Baltimore County Fire Department, where he is approaching 38 years of service.
During the council’s legislative session, Tome noted the importance of staying socially distant and staying away from group gatherings as a way to slow the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The new director of finance will be James Appel. Appel has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was an integral part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s campaign, according to his presentation before the council.
Appel said he went to work for the Maryland Department of IT in Hogan’s first administration and then went to work for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he served as the chief of staff to the chief financial officer.
Appel said he has managed budgets from $30 million all the way up to $1.7 trillion for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Prior to the vote on Appel’s proposed appointment, Council Member Al Miller (R-District 3) asked Appel, who lives in Annapolis, how he will be able to perform the duties of the job from Anne Arundel County. Appel responded that the drive to Cecil County is no different that the drive he made to work for the federal government and that he plans on driving to work each day.
County attorney appointee Lawrence Scott offered the council members a varied background of experiences. Scott said he first got a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland and went to work for the U.S. Department of Defense at Fort Meade. He later spent a number of years overseas.
Scott also served as a minister for a period of time before going to law school and eventually entering the practice of law. He noted that he has been in the legal field for about 28 years, actively practicing as an attorney for the last 22 years. Scott also stated that he served as chief operating officer for the state’s attorney’s office in Anne Arundel County. For the last two-years he has been a private practice attorney devoted primarily to land use law.
Scott was approved by the council by a 4-1 vote, with Miller casting the lone vote against Scott’s appointment.
Other positions include Steven O’Connor being promoted from deputy director to acting director of land use and development services and the retention of four county directors and one deputy director in their current positions: David Trolio as director of community services; Scott Flanigan as director of public works; Steve Reisler as director of facilities; Clyde Vandyke as director of parks and recreation and Rebecca Anderson as deputy director of finance.
During the council’s work session, Hornberger said that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic the county needs “all hands on deck,” as it moves forward into the new year.