Prince George's County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan, unable to find one person "with the background and experience necessary to handle the entire job." has decided to split the responsibilities of county personnel director between two people.
The personnel job - overseeing virtually all county employes - is considered second only to that of county administrator in importance. It was the subject of much controversy during the administration of Hogan's predecessor, Winfield M. Kelly Jr., because his personnel director, Donald H. Weinberg, often took a hard line in negotiating labor contracts.
Apparently the specter of county policemen and theif wives picketing the county administration building last summer during an impasse in contract negotiations has led Hogan to believe that he needs someone who can devote full-time to labor negotiations.
"If I find someone who can handle the job by himself fine, I'll hire him." Hogan said recently. "But no one's showed up so far and I don't see any candidates on the horizon."
Hogan said initially he had wanted the labour negotiator to work out of the county attorney's office. He abandoned that idea because there was no opening in that office that would pay enough for the job.
Instead, the labor specialist - Hogan wants a lawyer for the post - will work under the personnel director who will have responsibility for the rest of the operation including the Comprehensive Employe Training Act program, the county's federally-funded effort to hire the hard-core unemployed.
"I might want to put another person in charge of CETA later on," Hogan said. "But I'll leave it as is for now. As soon as we get settled in I'd like to do a thorough investigation of CETA to see exactly what our problems there are."
It may be several weeks before Hogan hires a personnel director and the negotiator who will "play a major role" in negotiating the county labor contracts that expire in June. Weinberg has agreed to stay on into 1979 until the positions are filled.
One of the major reasons for the delay in filling the key post was the mixup Hogan ran into last month when it appeared that Joseph M. Parker, a 44-year-old school administrator, had the inside track for the job.
The two men met on Nov. 21 and Parker left that meeting thinking he had the job. When that information leaked to members of the County Council the next day there was an uproar.
Parker, a Republican state senate candidate last November, ran an often negative campaign against state Sen. Tommie Broadwater Jr., the most prominent black member of the county's Democratic organization. As a result, the all-Democratic council made it clear to Hogan that they would oppose Pqrker's Parker's appointment.
"Whoever' leaked the information about Joe, and I say it knowing it may have well been Joe, did everyone a disservice," Hogan said. "If I had and had been able to convince them to meet and talk with him, they might have accepted him."
Parker, who would have been the county's first black personnel director, has denied that he leaked his own name to the press and Hogan, who initially said that personnel was one of "six or seven jobs" he discussed with Parker, now says that he has figured out "the scenario" of the leak.
"Joe came out of our meeting and he ran into somebody like Audrey Scott (another member of the transition team) and I figure she asked how it went, he said fine, personnel was mentioned and 'ping' everyone decided Joe was personnel."
On Dec. 4, the day Hogan was insuguarted, an angry Parker told a reporter that he "wanted the job and felt qualifed for the job."
Later that day, Hogan, apparently coming full circle under council pressure, said "no way," when he and Parker again met.
"If it was something that was extremely important to me I would fight for him," Hogan said. "But it's not. It isn't worth fighting the council on. I need their help to get other things done."
And there is not final kicker to Parker's tale of woe. With administration jobs filling rapidly, it now appears that his public flap with Hogan will leave him out of an administration job completely. CAPTION: Picture, LAWRENCE J. HOGAN . . . seeks labor specialist