Mayor-Elect Sharon Pratt Dixon has accepted letters of resignation from 17 top-level city managers, but she has asked all other D.C. employees who were appointed by Mayor Marion Barry to remain on their jobs for at least the first 60 days of her administration.

Dixon also said yesterday that Fire Chief Ray Alfred and Corrections Director Walter B. Ridley will be part of her Cabinet. She previously had said that Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr. would remain.

At a news conference where she announced appointments to her Cabinet, Dixon denied that she was retaining Barry's administrators because she has had difficulty recruiting her own staff. She said she is asking most of Barry's 177 political appointees to stay on temporarily "to bring about a smoother transition."

The day after her victory in the November general election, Dixon called upon those same people to submit letters of resignation immediately, so she would be able to "hit the ground running." She set the ambitious goal for herself of naming most of her Cabinet by the time she takes office Jan. 2.

With a week and a half to go before her inauguration, however, she has filled seven of the 38 seats in her mayoral Cabinet: John "Jack" Bond III, city administrator and deputy mayor for operations; Mildred Goodman, secretary of the District of Columbia; Joseph R. Caldwell Jr., chief of staff and legal counsel to the mayor; David Byrd, general assistant; and the three Barry holdovers.

Bond, who turns 53 tomorrow, is a Washington native who is county manager of Durham County, N.C., and has nearly 20 years experience in government administration.

Dixon said she plans to keep the same cabinet structure that Barry has, meaning that in addition to serving as city administrator, Bond would be "first among equals" as one of three deputy mayors. His duties will include directly overseeing the personnel, labor relations, emergency preparedness, fire, police and human services departments.

"He will have a lot of clout and a lot of authority," Dixon said. "He's a strong-willed man, and I think he will take the reins very comfortably."

Bond expects to start work here by early February. Officials who have worked with Bond generally gave him good reviews.

The biggest challenge Bond has faced in his current job has been "managing growth and trying to maintain the quality of life," said William V. Bell, chairman of the Board of Commissioners in Durham County.

Bond, a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore and Wake Forest University's school of management in Winston-Salem, N.C., also has been deputy city manager of Winston-Salem, assistant city manager of Miami, city manager in Petersburg, Va., and deputy county administrator in Hillsborough County, Fla.

Goodman, 62, has lived here for 45 years and is a member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee. She was Dixon's deputy campaign manager. She retired from the federal Department of Transportation as deputy director for civil rights.

As secretary of the District, Goodman will function as the city clerk, and chief protocol and ceremonial officer.

Caldwell, 41, Dixon's choice for chief of staff and counsel, is a partner at Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin, a Washington law firm that specializes in white-collar crime. He also has worked as an administrative assistant to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger.

Among those Barry appointees whose resignations Dixon has accepted are: Carol Thompson, city manager; Wiley Williams, deputy mayor for economic development; Fred L. Greene, planning director; N. Anthony Calhoun, human services director; John Touchstone, public works director; David Dennisson, head of housing and community development; Donald Murray, head of consumer and regulatory affairs; and F. Alexis H. Roberson, director of employee services.