La Plata says farewell to long­time mayor

Honors Hale’s 19 years of ser­vice

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

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY TIFFANY WAT­SON

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.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIFFANY WAT­SON

North Beach Mayor Mark Frazer honors La Plata Mayor Roy G. Hale with a ci­ta­tion at Town Hall on April 25.

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