Jacqueline H. Rogers, Montgomery County's budget director since 1980, was named yesterday to head the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, becoming the first Montgomery resident appointed to the cabinet of Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
Rogers, 46, who said in April she would leave the county government, will take the $70,600-a-year state job Aug. 1.
The department, created this year by the General Assembly, administers the state's housing, community development and historical and cultural programs with a $110 million budget and 425 employes.
Rogers' Montgomery County residence and background "was definitely a factor in her selection," said a spokeswoman for Schaefer. "The governor wants his administration to reflect the state."
Schaefer has come under some criticism for surrounding himself mostly with appointments from his native Baltimore, and early in his administration he questioned how Montgomery related to the rest of the state.
While there are Montgomery county residents on Schaefer's staff, Rogers' is the highest level appointment to date, the spokeswoman said.
"Mrs. Rogers brings us years of housing, managerial and financial experience," Schaefer said in a statement yesterday.
A Bethesda resident with a doctorate in German literature from Yale, Rogers has a reputation as a hard-line budget director who was able to say no to spending requests. As a result, she once said, "some people think I am mean as a snake."
Rogers, who was paid $76,458 a year by the county, was a member of the administration of former county executive Charles W. Gilchrist, which the new executive, Sidney Kramer, inherited when he took office last year.
After helping Kramer draw up his budget recommendation, Rogers announced she would leave county government because she was ready for a change in jobs. Lanny J. Davis, who headed Kramer's transition team, said Rogers was highly regarded and a major effort was made to retain her.
"She is very highly credentialed," Davis said.
Sources close to Kramer said Rogers wanted the chief administrative officer post held by Lewis T. Roberts. Kramer was not prepared to replace Roberts, the sources said, and there were no hard feelings involved in Rogers' departure.
Rogers also headed the county's Department of Housing and Community Development and was director of the county's Office of Community Development. She joined the county government in 1972 in the environmental planning office. "I'm delighted to be joining the State of Maryland's housing efforts and to be returning to the housing and community development field," Rogers said in a statement yesterday. "I am particularly looking forward to the opportunity of making the Department of Housing and Community Development responsive to the needs of local governments and their citizens."
Schaefer also announced yesterday the appointment of Ardath Cade as deputy secretary of the department. Cade has served as assistant of the Department of Economic and Community Development since 1979 and was once special assistant to acting governor Blair Lee III.