When Baltimore County government offices close today, Tim Kotroco's 24-year career in public service will come to an end.
Kotroco started with the county as an assistant county attorney. After three years there, he became deputy zoning commissioner.
"A lot of people told me not to take that job," Kotroco said. "They told me it was a dead end job."
Kotroco served in that "dead end job" for 12 years before serving the next eight as director of the Department of Permits and Development Management—now called the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections—under then-County Executive Jim Smith.
For the last year he served as one of three county administrative law judges—a position created by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in 2011.
"Everything I've done in my career has been in preparation for this day," said Kotroco. "I'm moving on to the next phase of my life."
After a week of jury duty, Kotroco said he will join the law firm of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston where he will focus on land use and zoning issues in Baltimore County and other jurisdictions "helping residents and businesses deal with the complexity of zoning and land use law."
Kotroco, who grew up in the Essex area and attended Mt. Carmel Elementary School, said his most satisfying moment in government was helping people in the wake of Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
In particular, Kotroco said he remembers one longshoreman who came to his office unannounced in the weeks after the storm.
"He was a rough and tumble guy and he was crying when he came to see me," said Kotroco. "I don't think I'll ever forget that guy."