L. James Eaton, an economic development consultant and former head of industrial development for Queens County, N.Y., has been confirmed as director of Montgomery County's Office of Economic Development.

Eaton's appointment by County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist was approved by the County Council Tuesday, clearing the way for Eaton to succeed former director Ioanna T. Morfessis. He will be paid $61,000 a year.

Morfessis, who earned $58,000, resigned June 28 to become director of the Phoenix Economic Growth Corp.

A consultant since 1980, Eaton has worked for the cities of Boston and New York; Essex County, N.J., and the U.S. State Department, where he developed marketing strategies for the Agency for International Development.

Eaton founded the Long Island City Development Corp., which promoted the development of waterfront property along the East River in New York.

In Montgomery County, he will oversee a staff of 22 employes and an annual budget of $1.7 million. He takes over the job in the midst of a development boom that is flooding area roads with traffic and causing some businesses to think twice about locating here. Changes in Store for Ride-On Bus Routes The county department of transporation is planning to shuffle Ride-On bus routes, cutting back service in some areas so it can expand in others.

The changes, scheduled to become effective in January, will eliminate midday and evening service on Rte. 27 in Bethesda and morning and evening service on Rte. 33 in Kensington.

In the Gaithersburg area, the department has proposed rerouting Rte. 43 in the vicinity of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital; rerouting Rte. 60 onto Flower Hill Way, Amity Drive and Essilon Drive, and rerouting Rte. 63 from Shady Grove Road via Research Boulevard, Piccard Drive and the new Redland Road.

The department plans to create new routes in Damascus and Germantown.

Buses would run every 30 minutes from Damascus to the Shady Grove Metro Station during rush hours and from Damascus toLakeforest Mall during the day.

A new rush-hour express route would link Germantown Commons with the Metro station.

Additional information on the proposed changes can be obtained from the county's division of transit services, 251-2225. Recreation Chief Forms Campaign Committee County recreation director Dave Robbins, a dark-horse candidate for county executive in 1986, announced the formation of a 23-member campaign committee last week chaired by Graham Little, executive director of the Olney Chamber of Commerce.

The group, which includes Carolyn Snowden, chairwoman of the county Community Action Committee; Laura Dale, a member of the state Commission on Aging, and Ethel Foreman, president of the Montgomery County Association of Senior Citizen Organizations, will hold a fund raiser next month.

State Sen. Sidney Kramer and County Council member David L. Scull are also considered likely candidates. County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist, who cannot succeed himself in office, plans to retire from politics and join the Episcopal priesthood at the end of his term.