Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker named a new economic development director yesterday, selecting a woman who was recently forced out of a similar job in Montgomery County because of a disagreement over growth policy.

Ecker, a Republican, said he chose Dyan Lingle Brasington for the $69,436-a-year post to fulfill a campaign pledge to fill the post and to increase the visibility of the county's economic development efforts. The county has been without an economic development director for about a year.

Brasington, 39, said it was her disagreement with Montgomery County Executive Neal Potter (D) over attracting business to the county that led to her departure.

"Mr. Potter had run on an anti-economic-development ticket," she said. "Howard County realizes the importance of attracting business."

Ecker aide Beverly Wilhide said county officials were aware of the Montgomery dispute: "You have one county going one way and the other going another way."

One of Brasington's first tasks in Howard will be to come up with a plan to lure businesses to the county and to retain existing ones, Ecker said.

By hiring Brasington, Ecker highlighted the differing tacks local governments are taking in dealing with the recession. Ecker has said repeatedly that attracting business is essential to Howard County's economic well-being.

Ecker and the County Council tried to improve the business climate last month by lifting a temporary cap on building permits.

Montgomery's Potter, on the other hand, has said the key to weathering recessions is better managing growth.

He has proposed limiting construction to 6,000 houses a year (8,000 were built in 1989) and new jobs to 9,000 a year (12,000 were added in 1989).

"The philosophies {of Potter and Brasington} are different," said Gene Lynch, Potter's chief assistant.

"Mr. Potter believes we would be better off concentrating our efforts on {helping} businesses already in Montgomery County," he said.

Brasington was selected primarily for her managerial skills and economic development experience, Wilhide said. The new economic development director will oversee a staff of five, compared with 26 in Montgomery.

Howard County business leaders, who have long complained that the economic development program languished under then-County Executive Elizabeth Bobo, hailed Ecker's selection.

"This represents a new beginning for economic development in Howard County," said Richard Pettingill, president of the county Chamber of Commerce.

Before Brasington began working with Montgomery County in 1987, she was economic development director of Prince William County for four years.

Before that, she worked with the Florida Department of Commerce's business development, promotion and marketing unit.