By Anna Hovet
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Baltimore Mayor-elect Brandon M. Scott Monday named two people to serve in his administration when he takes office tomorrow.
Christopher J. Shorter, who is the assistant city manager of Austin, Texas, will serve as Baltimore’s first city administrator. Michael Huber, who served with Brandon in the office of the City Council president, will be the mayor’s chief of staff.
“Hiring Baltimore’s first chief administrative officer has been one of my top priorities, and I look forward to working closely with Mr. Shorter to focus on how we effectively, reliably, and equitably deliver services to all of our residents,” Scott said. “My city administrator, chief of staff and I will work closely together to fix what’s broken in city government and restore the public’s trust.”
As the assistant city manager in Austin, Shorter oversees departments that support health, environment, and culture. Previously, Shorter served as director of the District of Columbia’s Department of Public Works and the District’s director of agency operations in the Office of the City Administrator. He also served as chief operating Officer for the DC Department of Health.
Shorter received a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public & International Affairs and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Hubercurrently serves as the chief of staff in the Office of the City Council President. He previously served as director of legislative affairs and director of business and economic development in the Council President’s office. He earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2011 and was sworn into the Maryland State Bar later that year. He is a graduate of Knox College.
In 2019, then-Councilmember Scott introduced a charter amendment that requires mayors to appoint a professionally-trained and experienced chief administrative officer, also known as a city administrator, to ensure the day-to-day operations of city government are efficient, effective and reliable. The charter amendment appeared on the November ballot and was overwhelmingly supported by the voters.
The positions of city administrator and deputy city administrator will not require additional positions or an increase in the mayor’s budget. Most jurisdictions in Maryland already have charter-mandated city administrators, understood as a best practice in local governance nationwide.