A staffer from Gov. Rendell's administration has been hired as Montgomery County's director of economic development. Kenneth Klothen, the state's deputy secretary for community affairs and development since January 2005, was hired yesterday to head efforts to revitalize Norristown and other blighted areas.

In April, county commissioners approved a seven-year, $105 million program mainly focused on needy communities. Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews said Klothen's hiring provided "someone to drive the bus" for the program.

Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. objected to the hiring and said he thought other county staffers' duties covered the same area. - Derrick Nunnally