Mayor Hale an­nounces he is not run­ning for re-elec­tion

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

Ev­ery mem­o­rable race has an ex­tra­or­di­nary fin­ish, and the mayor of La Plata is ready to end his last term in of­fice with a strong con­clu­sion. At Tues­day’s town coun­cil busi­ness meet­ing, Mayor Roy G. Hale an­nounced he does not plan to run for an­other term in of­fice.

“I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the op­por­tu­nity to be a mem­ber of the town coun­cil and I truly ap­pre­ci­ate the res­i­dents giv­ing me this op­por­tu­nity for over so

many years,” Hale said. “I’ve had the chance to serve with a num­ber of out­stand­ing coun­cil peo­ple dur­ing that pe­riod of time and with a truly pro­fes­sional staff at the Town of La Plata. But at some point, you look at whether you should move on and do some­thing dif­fer­ent and I think I’ve reached that point. There­fore I’ve de­cided I will not be a can­di­date for the of­fice of mayor in the next elec­tion in May 2017.”

Hale said he had the honor and priv­i­lege of serv­ing on the coun­cil for 18 years, eight years as mayor and 10 years as coun­cil­man from Ward 4. Hale said it was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion not to run for an­other term, but it is one he be­lieves is ap­pro­pri­ate at this point in his life. He said serv­ing with an out­stand­ing coun­cil and ded­i­cated, qual­i­fied, pro­fes­sional staff made the po­si­tion of mayor less chal­leng­ing and more re­ward­ing.

Hale is a Los An­ge­les na­tive who re­ceived his bach­e­lors de­gree in ac- count­ing from Univer­sity of Mary­land Col­lege Park. He went on to serve as a U.S. Navy lieu­tenant for 24 years af­ter grad­u­at­ing col­lege with an ac­count- ing de­gree. He has served aboard ships such as the USS Hank, USS Leary, USS Lawrence and the USS In­trepid, which oper- ated off the coast of Viet- nam. Some of his mer­its and medals in­clude the Navy Achieve­ment Medal, Viet­nam Ser­vice Medal, Armed Forces Ex­pe­di­tion- ary Medal, Navy Ex­pedi- tionary Medal and Na­tion- al De­fense Ser­vice Medal.

Hale said he also served on the Ron­ald Rea­gan/ Ge­orge H.W. Bush pres- iden­tial cam­paign, which led to a po­si­tion on the Rea­gan tran­si­tion team and a sub­se­quent as­sign­ment as deputy trea­surer of the U.S. Hale was unan- imously ap­pointed as mayor on Aug. 26, 2008, af­ter the res­ig­na­tion of Mayor Eugene Am­bro­gio. Hale was then elected by La Plata vot­ers in 2009 and 2013.

“Be­ing mayor is al­ways a chal­leng­ing yet re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Hale said. “There is al­ways so much more you want to ac­com­plish in the lim­ited time avail­able, but there are re­straints and fi­nan­cial el­e­ments out­side your con­trol that dic­tate what you ac­tu­ally can ac- com­plish.”

Hale said some of his ma­jor may­oral du­ties in­cluded deal­ing with two com­pet­ing forces in the town: main­tain­ing the small town at­mos­phere for La Plata while re­aliz- ing the town must grow in or­der to sup­port its func­tion as the county seat and meet­ing the de­mands of the pop­u­la­tion.

Some of his fa­vorite town events are the Fri- day night sum­mer con- certs, the Memorial Day pro­gram and the Vet­er­ans Day pa­rade.

“Mayor Hale and I have al­ways worked well to­gether,” said Coun­cil­man Wayne Win­kler (Ward 1). “We worked day and night, un­der the di­rec­tion of then Mayor Bill Eck- man dur­ing the af­ter­math of the tor­nado and as a team. As a coun­cil­man, un­der his lead­er­ship, I have al­ways felt con­fi­dent that we had the best in­ter- ests of the town and town res­i­dents as our goal and I think when he looks back at what was ac­com­plished un­der his lead­er­ship, he will be very proud.”

Coun­cil­man Joseph Nor­ris (Ward 4) said he is sorry to hear the mayor will not be run­ning again. He said the mayor has been ex­tremely ded­i­cated in car­ry­ing out his many du­ties, de­scrib­ing Hale as well-spo­ken and digni- fied. Nor­ris said he will be missed as a mem­ber of the coun­cil and he has cer­tainly earned a break.

Coun­cil­man Lynn D. Gil­roy (Ward 3) said the mayor is a “true gen- tle­man” whose dis­tin­guished ser­vice to this coun­try is with­out ques­tion.

“His legacy as mayor and his ac­com­plish­ments will con­tinue to live on long af­ter he leaves of- fice. I wish him well in his re­tire­ment and look for­ward to seek­ing out his ad­vice and coun­sel,” Gil­roy said.

“It has been my plea­sure to serve along­side Mayor Hale, first on the plan­ning com­mis­sion, then as coun­cil­men to­gether, and now as a coun­cil­man with him as mayor,” said Coun­cil­man Keith Back (Ward 2). “He has been a great leader and advocate for La Plata. He has al­ways looked for what is best for all of the cit­i­zens of the town when mak­ing deci- sions. His calm de­meanor and wise judge­ment will be missed.”

The mayor said he looks for­ward to trav­el­ing and spend­ing time with fam­ily, specif­i­cally his very ac­tive 8-year-old grand­son.

“For those who de­sire to run and are for­tu­nate enough to be elected, I trust that they will con­tinue to work very hard and con­tinue to move our town for­ward,” Hale said. “I truly wish the new mayor, us­ing a mil­i­tary phrase, ‘God­speed and fol­low­ing seas.’ We have ac­com­plished a lot, but there is still much more work to do.

“Who­ever the cit­i­zens of La Plata elect should be able to move ahead quickly and pur­sue the is­sues that re­cently ranked La Plata fifth in the state of Mary­land of towns and cities with over 5,000 in pop­u­la­tion, by Zip­pia, a real es­tate web­site. In and of it­self, that says a lot,” he said.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Mayor of La Plata Roy. G. Hale an­nounces that he will not run for re-elec­tion in May 2017.

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