William H. Hussmann, who held a series of powerful appointed positions in Montgomery County government over more than three decades, died Wednesday at a hospice in California. Hussmann was Planning Board chairman from 1994 until he decided not to seek another term in 2001. Later, he served several years as executive director of the North Fork Mono Rancheria Indian Housing Authority, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, until the effects of advanced kidney cancer forced him to give up work.
Hussmann's Montgomery County resume included working for developers Hallowell Corp. and Kettler Brothers, builder of Montgomery Village, in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1970, Montgomery's first county executive, Republican James P. Gleason, hired Hussmann to be his chief administrative officer. Hussmann held that job for eight years during which he also worked briefly for Prince George's County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr., a Democrat. When he married his wife, Kathy, Hussmann became the son-in-law of Ida Mae Garrott, a County Council member from 1966 to 1974 who clashed openly with Gleason.
In the 1990s, Hussmann became Democratic County Executive Neal Potter's chief administrative officer, serving until the County Council appointed him to lead the planning board. Although there were concerns about having a former developer head the agency, many who opposed his decisions came to see him as fair and an honest broker. SOURCE: Gazette