Murray D. Levy's 18-year run as a Charles County commissioner ended last week as he resigned from the board and was sworn in as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.

Levy, 59, who was in his fifth term as a county commissioner and third as board president, replaced former delegate and fellow Democrat Van T. Mitchell, who resigned to become deputy secretary in the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Levy officially stepped down from the board Wednesday and took the oath as delegate Thursday.

In his last duty as a commissioner, Levy faced a packed house at T.C. Martin Elementary School on Tuesday night, fending off criticism of the county's support for a proposal to build a minor league baseball stadium in Hughesville. It could have been a politician's nightmare -- an angry crowd making catcalls, waving signs, threatening to wield its votes against the board -- but Levy said he was pleased to see democracy in action.

"This is exactly what we need to be doing: meeting with the citizens," he said. "Now the commissioners have got a decision to make."

For Levy, his new decisions include finding a place to stay in Annapolis before the next session of the General Assembly begins in January. He also is going to start cramming to get up to speed on statewide issues.

"I've got a lot of homework to do," he said.

Commissioner Robert J. Fuller (D-St. Charles), the board's vice president, will run meetings until a replacement for Levy is found.

The Charles County Democratic Central Committee will accept applications for the board president vacancy until Nov. 8. The committee has tentatively set Nov. 10 for interviews. Letters should be sent to:

Charles County Democratic Central Committee, PO Box 2710, La Plata, Md. 20646. More information is available from central committee Chairman Edith Patterson at or 301-753- 4165.