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