Baltimore budget director seeking Montgomery council seat

The nine applicants seeking appointment by the Montgomery County Council to fill Valerie Ervin’s unexpired term represent a range of professional backgrounds, from attorney to high school principal, to congressional staffer to electrical engineer.

But perhaps the most unusual résumé on file belongs to the budget director for the city of Baltimore.

Andrew Kleine, who lives in the Indian Spring neighborhood of Silver Spring with his wife and two children, has spent the past six years as fiscal point man for Baltimore. He’s helped the city through the recession and earned national praise for implementing a system of “outcome budgeting,” a method of aligning spending to specific results identified by residents.

So why does Kleine, 44, aspire to leave his $140,000-a-year post for a caretaker appointment of less than a year that bars him from running in the June 2014 Democratic primary? In an interview Tuesday, Kleine said he still enjoys the work but is getting restless.

“If you look at my résumé, every five or six years I’m looking for a new challenge,” he said.

Before coming to Baltimore, Kleine worked as budget analyst and financial officer for a series of federal agencies, including Transportation, OMB and the Corporation for National and Community Service. He said his background would allow him to “hit the ground running” as the council enters the fiscal 2015 budget season.

Like other applicants, he’s also been active in the civic and political life of District 5, serving as president of the Indian Spring Citizens Association, a member of the Long Branch Advisory committee and treasurer for Casa de Maryland.

There are no obvious signs that Kleine is in bad odor in Baltimore. In a statement Tuesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said:

“Andrew has spent his entire adult life in public service, so it isn’t surprising that he’d be interested in this new opportunity to continue serving the public. I know how important it is to have people with Andrew’s skills and experience helping to shape public policy. He has been a tremendous asset to my administration. If selected, I wish him all the best.”

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.
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