The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved Sonia Mora and Yaakov “Jake” Weissmann to fill two assistant chief administrative officer positions in County Executive Marc Elrich’s office.
Council members praised both selections. Mora and Weissman replace Jerome Fletcher, who left to be city manager in North Port, Fla., and Adriana Hochberg, who Elrich announced as the county’s first climate change officer earlier this year.
Mora and Weissmann will each earn $175,000 annually, according to council staff documents. They began work after their appointments were confirmed on Tuesday.
Mora has worked with the county for more than three decades, and had been the manager for the Latino Health Initiative in the county’s Department of Health and Human Services. In that role, she oversaw efforts to facilitate health programs and services to the county’s Latino population.
She also had been director of the Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar Initiative in Elrich’s office, a position created last year. In that role, Mora focused on creating programs and connecting the Latino population to services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Before Mora’s interview in front of the County Council at an earlier meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Rich Madaleno said her areas of focus would be education, recreation, libraries and health services, especially as it relates to working with the county’s youth.
Mora could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday through two phone calls and an email.
Weissmann has more than a decade working in various positions in Annapolis and state politics. His most recent roles were as deputy chief of staff to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., then chief of staff for Miller, then current Senate President Bill Ferguson.
Weissmann said in an interview that he is excited to learn under Madaleno and begin working for the county. Some of his areas of focus will be economic development, transportation, environmental protection and housing.
Even though he will be learning Montgomery County government, communication and listening is a big part of the job, like it was in Annapolis.
“I know it sounds hokey … but the whole reason I decided to continue in government is it’s where I can do the maximum amount of good for the maximum amount of people,” Weissmann said.
Mora and Weissmann join Earl Stoddard, who was confirmed by the County Council as an assistant chief administrative officer late last month.
Stoddard’s focus includes examining staffing and retention in the county’s police and fire departments, improving responses to public safety, increasing pay for first responders, and helping the county reach equity goals during the coronavirus pandemic.
He replaced Caroline Sturgis, who is now the budget director in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org