ANNAPOLIS-Gov. Parris N. Glendening plans to take his Cabinet to Western Maryland next week, but they will not be travelling by bus.
Glendening in 1995 sold the bus often used by his predecessor, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, a fact that prompted a testy dialogue between the two at Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting. Schaefer, during the meeting, asked an aide if he could borrow the governor’s bus for statewide travel. The answer prompted him to snap at Glendening: “You sold my bus?… Why did you sell my bus?”
“Didn’t care for it,” the governor mildly responded.
“Talk about reasons,” Schaefer said, “I don’t care for some of my employees either.”
Glendening, Schaefer and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon comprise the Board of Public Works, which approves state contracts.
The governor’s only reason for the sale was that he did not like the bus, said spokeswoman Michelle Byrnie. The bus was sold back to Custom Coach for $81,000. The 1980-model year bus was originally purchased in 1987 from Custom Coach for $225,000, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
The tour-style charter bus, with the word “Maryland,” the state flag and Schaefer’s slogan, “Do it Now” emblazoned on the side, was frequently used by Schaefer as part of his Capital-for-a-Day program, when he and his Cabinet traveled around the state.
Glendening will conduct a similar program in Western Maryland in two weeks, but his Cabinet members will have to rely on their own transportation.
As part of Glendening’s Capital Connection program, he and his Cabinet will be at Frostburg State University Sept. 16, making Frostburg the “capital for the day,” Byrnie said.
Byrnie said there is no link between the Capital Connection and Schaefer’s Capital for a Day, adding that many states have similar outreach programs.
“We thought it would be nice to have the governor and secretaries go out and meet people,” she said. “It’s just to bring the government to the people.”
Byrnie said the trip is for customer service and will give citizens an opportunity to talk to government officials. During the visit, Glendening will meet with the Western Maryland Economic Task Force and with Frostburg State students, and hold a Cabinet meeting, Byrnie said. The governor also will use the trip to promote technology to Western Maryland businesses.