Ford puts transition process in motion


WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 1976 (UPI) -- President Ford has put the transition process in motion-including plans for a meeting later this month with Jimmy Carter-and is preparing to go to California, rest up, and think about his future.

Ford cleared today's schedule of all but routine staff appointments. He will leave tomorrow afternoon for Palm Springs, where he will spend 10 days in a house owned by former U.S. ambassador to Belgium Leonard Firestone, next to the 13th green of the Thunderbird Country Club golf course.


The President will work on the upcoming budget and the transition to a Carter administration, said Press Secretary Ron Nessen who added, "He does plan to spend some time thinking about his own future plans."

Ford is 63 and vigorous. He will have few money worries, with a pension of over $90,000 from his nearly 30 years of government service, office space and $96,000 a year in staff expenses. He has talked about practicing law and perhaps teaching in college.

The exchange of power began in earnest yesterday with a 2 1/2 hour meeting between Jack H. Watson, 37, the Atlanta lawyer who is Carter's transition representative, and John O. Marsh, the presidential counselor who is Ford's man, and White House chief-of-staff Richard B. Cheney.


They talked about a personal discussion between Ford and Carter later this month, and Watson said, "I do expect such a meeting will take place."

Although the president-elect plans to spend most of his time in Georgia, Watson said there will be a small staff to gather facts on the 1978 budget, to answer mail, "and to deal with personnel requests."

"We want our presence here to be quiet, nondisruptive," said Watson.

Summing up, Watson said, "I could not be more pleased with the cooperation-and the grace-which we have received."

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