Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Friday announced the appointments of new directors of the public works and finance departments.
Tom Meunier, who is the new director of public works, started Monday, while Rafiu Ighile will take over as the director of finance beginning Sept. 7.
The two are replacing Jim and Janet Irvin who retired in June. Jim Irvin had served as the director of public works since 1989 and had worked for Howard County since 1975. Janet Irvin’s 30-plus years of public service included 20 years with Howard County government and the Howard County Public School System; she had served as the director of finance since January 2018.
Meunier, who has served as acting public works director since June, has nearly 40 years of experience as a civil engineer in both the private and public sectors, with the last six in Howard County.
“I’m thrilled,” Meunier said. “The Department of Public Works is a very diverse group with over 500 committed and dedicated employees, and I’m proud to be given the opportunity to lead them.”
He started his career with the Frederick County government as an engineer and then became director of public works before retiring in 2013. In 2014, Meunier became the chief of the bureau of highways with Howard County and in 2018 he became the public works director’s assistant.
“Tom has been a steady presence at [the Department of Public Works] for many years, including serving as the incident commander for both the 2016 and 2018 Ellicott City floods,” Ball said in a county news release. “I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead [the department] as we work toward creating a more sustainable environment and building reliable infrastructure in Howard County.”
Ighile, meanwhile, has more than 30 years of accounting experience, including serving in finance roles for the Howard school system and the county.
“I’m also pleased to welcome Rafiu back to Howard County government,” Ball said. “His innovative initiatives to manage debt and cash, and his deep knowledge of our county will be critical as we navigate a looming economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Most recently, Ighile served as the director of finance and administration for the city of Gaithersburg. He also previously worked as chief financial officer for the Howard County school system and as the deputy director of finance for the county.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to come back to the county and continue the wonderful work the county does for its stakeholders and citizens,” Ighile said. “… It is an honor to work with such a talented group of finance professionals, and I look forward to maintaining and progressing this department’s incredible level of excellence.”
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