ANNAPOLIS -- Three years after Anne Arundel County Executive James Lighthizer began an affirmative action plan for county employes, a new official report shows that white males still hold almost all top-level jobs, women fill almost all clerical positions and black employes are still concentrated in service and maintenance jobs.
The report, released last week by the county's personnel office, prompted harsh criticism from some black leaders in the county. About 12 percent of the county's population is black.
Lighthizer and other administration officials said they have fallen far short of their hiring goals for management positions, but emphasized increases in women and blacks in some lower-level job categories as evidence of improvement.
"The results have been mixed," said Richard Mayer, the county personnel officer. He said the county has done "a pretty good job" hiring women for professional jobs and blacks for police, fire and jail jobs.
"But we're not at all happy in the management and administrative category," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do in this area."
The president of the county's NAACP chapter was less sanguine. "I don't think Jim Lighthizer is serious about affirmative action and improving black employment in the county," Jean Creek said. "I think he gives affirmative action a lot of lip service, but I don't think he's really serious . . . . Blacks have been relegated to mops and brooms and scrub buckets."
Carl Snowden, a black Annapolis City Council member and frequent critic of Lighthizer's relationship with blacks, agreed with Creek and emphasized that Lighthizer has appointed only one black department head, Emergency Management Director Primus W. Richardson, who was originally appointed by Lighthizer's Republican predecessor.
"If the county executive, who by appointment can select anybody he wants, does not demonstrate by example a commitment and leadership toward affirmative action, it's both hypocritical and ludicrous to expect his subordinates to do likewise," Snowden said.
Anne Arundel has two women and one black man serving as department heads. Of the 122 employes classified as managers and administrators, only six -- or 4.9 percent -- are women, and five -- 4.1 percent -- are minorities. Since the affirmative action plan began in 1984, the number of women in this category has dropped by two and the number of minorities has increased by one.
Of 238 office and clerical jobs, 217 -- or 91 percent -- are held by women. In service and maintenance jobs, 112 of the 294 positions -- 38 percent -- are filled by minorities, a much higher percentage than in any other job category.
It is difficult to make accurate comparisons between Anne Arundel and neighboring counties because each classifies its employes slightly differently. However, Howard County, with a minority population of 14 percent, has one black department head and one female department head. Of those employes classified as managers and administrators, 15 percent are women and 15 percent are black.
There are three black department heads and four female department heads in Prince George's County, which has a minority population of 41 percent. Of those classified as officials and administrators, 18 percent are black and 18 percent are female. Of all county employes, 32 percent are black and 34 percent are women.
In Montgomery County, which has a minority population of 16 percent, five of the 35 county officials who head departments or offices are minorities and 11 are women. Of those classified as managers and supervisors in May 1986, the most recent figures, 28 percent were women and 14 percent were minorities.
Lighthizer this week insisted that he takes affirmative action "very seriously" but has had trouble finding top-level blacks for high-level positions. "I go for the very best people," he said.
Nevertheless, he said he will speak to department heads at tomorrow's cabinet meeting and urge them to "redouble their efforts. We're making progress but we haven't reached our goals. I'm going to ask them to give particular attention to middle management."
Mayer said the personnel department plans to reexamine its recruiting techniques. Mayer said the county has relied on newspaper advertising to find new employes and has not used professional "head-hunting" firms. However, he said, he is considering using recruiting firms that specialize in finding black managers.
Mayer said it has proved difficult to find qualified black professionals to work for the county. "We have a highly competitive situation in the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis area, where a number of people are competing for a finite number of individuals. We are a public sector employer, and there are certain things that we are unable to do: We cannot sweeten the job offer in a competitive sense."
But Creek said this is not a valid excuse. "Anne Arundel is in a major job market," she said. "There are probably more black professionals in this metropolitan area than anywhere else outside New York."
According to the county report, the biggest improvements for blacks in Anne Arundel during the past three years have been in fire, police and detention center jobs, where the number of minorities has increased from 51 to 93. Minorities now make up 12.4 percent of the employes in these categories, compared with 8.2 percent three years ago.
For women, the biggest improvements were in professional jobs such as lawyers and accountants, where the number of women increased from 47 to 89. Women now make up 26.4 percent of the employes in this category.
Women holding senior positions in Anne Arundel government include Karen Michalec, a senior Lighthizer aide for human and social services; Lighthizer's press secretary and adviser, Denise Rankin; Department of Aging Director Janet Owens; Community Services Director Rose Church; Budget Officer Marita Brown; and Debt Incentive Officer Kathryn Hewitt.
High-ranking blacks include Emergency Managment Director Richardson; Lighthizer's senior aide for human relations Adrian Wiseman; Housing Authority Director Vincent Legett; and Robert L. Neally, assistant personnel officer.