James Rada, Jr.
(10/18) As Thurmont Commissioner Bill
Blakeslee prepares to become the chief
administrative officer for the town, it
appears that the town may have gotten a
When Blakeslee’s $70,000 salary is compared
against the salaries of his fellow
administrators of towns of a similar size in
Frederick County, the numbers appear to show
Thurmont is not paying as much for the
services of administrator as either
Walkersville or Brunswick.
“The salary is in line with what we pay
branch head positions,” said Mayor Martin
Blakeslee’s actual salary falls between
those of the Brunswick administrator and
Walkersville town manager. However, when the
salaries are compared to the town’s population
and the town’s operating budget, Blakeslee’s
salary becomes a lower cost to residents than
in the other towns.
“This is a position we needed,” Burns said.
“We had a multi-million dollar corporation
with no one in charge. Rick [May] was not in
charge of every department in the Town of
As the town clerk, May had no authority
over the police department, public works,
water department, sewer department and
“A lot of things weren’t getting done,
through no fault of Rick’s, because there was
no one to coordinate everything,” Burns said.
With an administrator, Burns expects
efficiency to improve as processes are
“Rick’s been doing the whole job for a long
time, but it’s an impossible job for one
person to do,” Blakeslee said.
Each Thurmont resident will pay $11.61 of
Blakeslee’s salary while Brunswick residents
pay $12.89 and Walkersville residents pay
As a percentage of the town general fund,
Blakeslee’s salary represents 1.51 percent
(.55 percent if the electric budget is
included). Brunswick’s administrator’s salary
is 1.63 percent and Walkersville’s town
manager salary is 1.87 percent.
One reason for the difference in salaries
between the three positions is in part the
experience of the people in the positions.
“Bill has management experience,” Burns
said. “He has handled budgets and managed
hundreds of people.”
However, working in the Thurmont town
office will be Blakeslee’s first position in
Burns said one of the advantages that
Blakeslee will bring to Thurmont is his
contacts and proven success getting grants for
“Once you start getting these types of
grants, it’s easier to get the next one,”
Blakeslee was appointed to the new position
created in the revision of the town charter on
Aug. 14. He assumes the role of chief
administrative officer on Nov. 1.