La Plata says farewell to longtime mayor
Honors Hale’s 19 years of service
The Town of La Plata is bidding farewell to Mayor Roy G. Hale as he retires from 19 years of service to the town.
“I do not regret one day that I have served on the council,” Hale said. “Being in that seat, you quickly learn that it’s not about you as a person — you are there
to represent the citizens of La Plata so you have to be able to listen as well as you speak. It’s not easy sometimes but it’s extremely important.”
Hale and his wife have lived in La Plata for 35 years. “We have seen many changes to the town — pre-tornado and post-tornado,” he said.
The mayor has served as a councilman for 10 years and as mayor for nine years. He said former Mayor William F. Eckman has been his mentor since day one. “He supported me, gave me an opportunity to learn as much as I can early on, and supported all that I tried to do for the town. He is a true friend,” Hale said.
The staff held a celebration for Hale at Town Hall on April 25. Many notable dignitaries and politicians gathered to help honor the many years that Hale has served on the council and his accomplishments whilst dedicating his time to the citizens of the town.
“I can say from my heart that I’m going to miss him,” said Charles County Commissioners’ President Peter Murphy (D). “Through the monthly meetings with [Mayor Brandon Paulin] and Mayor Hale, I really got to know [Hale] and we always found a way to support one another. It was a pleasure to have those meetings. He always kept abreast of things and I certainly expect to still see him at all the events in La Plata.”
“I would like to thank Mayor Hale for being a guiding force for me for my first two years in public office,” said Mayor Brandon Paulin. “He is certainly a role model for myself and I also know the councilmen in Indian Head look up to him.”
Tracy Gant, Maryland Municipal League president and mayor of the Town of Edmonston, said Hale is a dear friend and he has served on many positions in the MML.
“He has been committed and passionate to the league for the past 19 years,” Gant said.
La Plata Police Chief Carl Schinner said Hale has displayed exemplary service to the town for years.
“We have five core values of the La Plata Police Department — professionalism, respect, integrity, honesty and service. These are the core values we try to live up to and these are the values that I have witnessed in Mayor Hale as I served as police chief over the last three years,” Schinner said.
Hale also received citations and letters of congratulations from Gov. Larry Hogan (R), U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (DMd., 5th), U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton (D-Charles) and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
“Hale has become a positive and effective influence in the Town of La Plata and our citizens extend our best wishes for a long, happy and productive retirement for him,” said North Beach Mayor Mark Frazer. “La Plata has a very soft spot in my heart. Hale and former Mayor Bill Eckman, also a long serving mayor of this town, should serve as role models for those who aspire to be a chief elected official.”
“We will really miss Mayor Hale’s extensive knowledge of municipal government and the issues we all face as we strive to make the right decisions for our town,” said Leslie Roberts, president of the Southern Maryland Municipal Association and Leonardtown town council member. “One of his strengths is the ability to learn the details of new rules and regulations and how they will impact our towns and his willingness to share that with us at our meetings. It’s always helpful to have Hale say ‘this is how this will break down and how it will influence our towns.’ He is an outstanding example of a municipal elected official.”
The town council and staff had nothing but words of gratitude for the mayor who they have served under for several terms now.
Councilman Lynn Gilroy said Hale is a true gentleman, a statesman and a friend.
Town Manager Daniel Mears said Hale has lead the town successfully through challenging financial times by maintaining a focus on basic service needs, striving for efficiencies in operations, keeping the future of La Plata in mind and providing resources needed to achieve community goals.
“[Hale] leads with integrity and maintaining the high ground. Serving the constituents has made him an admirable mayor. He has found great success in a time that could have confounded others,” Mears said.
Hale humbly said that his former and current council members have accomplished so much together and have demonstrated that five individuals from different walks of life can work together and provide outstanding results.
“You start out in positions not knowing how long we will be here but we all have one primary desire and that’s to serve our community and that motivates us to stay as long as we do,” Hale said. “La Plata is truly a great town and remarkable. Not everyone is on board with all the changes but we have built something that our children and our grandchildren can be proud of.”
Mayor Roy G. Hale gave a speech at La Plata Town Hall on April 25 during the council’s business meeting.
Scott Hancock, executive director of the Maryland Municipal League and Tracy Gant, MML president and mayor of the Town of Edmonston, honor La Plata Mayor Hale with a citation and a gift at Town Hall on April 25.
Leslie E. Roberts, Southern Maryland Municipal Association president and Leonardtown town council member, honors La Plata Mayor Roy G. Hale with a citation at Town Hall on April 25.
Former La Plata Mayor William F. Eckman and Mayor Roy G. Hale pose for a photo during a celebration at Town Hall in honor of Hale.
North Beach Mayor Mark Frazer honors La Plata Mayor Roy G. Hale with a citation at Town Hall on April 25.