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Blakeslee appointed Thurmont chief administrative officer

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(8/16) Thurmont has gained its first chief administrative officer and lost a town commissioner. Commissioner Bill Blakeslee has accepted the position effective Nov. 1.

“He has done more for this town than anybody possibly realizes at his own peril and expense,” said Mayor Martin Burns when he announced the appointment at the town meeting on Aug. 14.

The revision to the town charter, approved earlier this year, called for the appointment of a chief administrative officer, freeing up Rick May to perform his duties as the town clerk/treasurer. An earlier candidate withdrew his interest for the position last month.

As chief administrative officer, Blakeslee will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the town government. He will also carry out the policies set by the board of commissioners.

“I’m in a position where I think I can still benefit the town,” Blakeslee said.

Other duties of the chief administrative officer include:
• Attending meetings where he may participate in the discussion but not vote.
• Keep the commissioners’ meeting minutes.
• Supervise the various town departments.
• Make an annual report to the commissioners on the condition of municipal affairs and any recommendations for changes.
• Act as the town zoning administrator.
• Act as the town human resources administrator.

“I think I can offer the same willingness to work hard and look at all the ways to make this great town even greater,” Blakeslee said following the meeting.

Besides his experience as town commissioner and involvement in town activities, Blakeslee brings 30 years of managerial experience to the table.

The commissioners appointed Blakeslee after an executive session at the beginning of the Aug. 14 town meeting. The vote was 3-0 with one abstention. Commissioner Glenn Muth abstained from voting because he did not want it seen as a move to make the candidate field more favorable to him if he decides to run for re-election.

“I think he (Blakeslee) can do more by being here 100 percent of the time than he can by being a part-time commissioner,” Burns said.

Blakeslee will fulfill his term as commissioner and take over the administrator position when the two new commissioners are sworn in on Nov. 1. He will also have to quick his job of the past six years with a packaging company.

“I’ve truly enjoyed my almost four years as town commissioner,” Blakeslee said. “I’ve given my heart and soul and 100 percent to the job.”

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