City manager to start April 6

March 22, 1994|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Sun Staff Writer

John L. Kendall, the city administrator of Brunswick in Frederick County, has been hired as city manager of Taneytown.

Mr. Kendall, 54, a retired Army colonel, will begin his new duties April 6.

"I accepted this job for two things," Mr. Kendall said yesterday from his office in Brunswick. "One was the opportunity to be a city manager, which gives me more authority, more direct contact with the people, than I did as a city administrator."

"The second is truly economic," he said, laughing. "It's a good salary."

Councilman Henry C. Heine Jr. said Mr. Kendall's salary in Taneytown will be about $37,000 a year.

Mr. Kendall, who has worked in Brunswick for about three years, said he accepted the Taneytown job Thursday when it was offered by City Attorney Thomas F. Stansfield.

He resigned his Brunswick position Friday and told Brunswick Mayor Richard E. Goodrich that his last day on that job would be April 5.

"He [Mr. Kendall] said it was an offer he just couldn't refuse," Mayor Goodrich said, adding Mr. Kendall has had an excellent relationship with his city's council and employees. "I guess it was one of those jobs you've been waiting for and then when you get the opportunity to do it, you can't let it go by."

Taneytown officials fired former City Manager Joseph A. Mangini Jr. for undisclosed reasons in a closed session Aug. 9 after he refused to resign.

Mr. Mangini now is city manager of Indian Head in Charles County.

Mr. Kendall applied for the position when the city advertised it in August, and was interviewed in December as one of six finalists.

City officials readvertised the job in January to get more applicants in case their top choices from the first applications could not take it.

Mr. Kendall was chosen earlier this month.

"It came down to two gentlemen. The other gentleman . . . did not have the supervising experience that Mr. Kendall does," said Taneytown Mayor Henry I. Reindollar. "His background was more in planning.

"It was fairly close, but given our circumstances, we thought Mr. Kendall would better fit our situation," Mayor Reindollar said. "He has quite a bit of supervising experience. He does seem to be on top of things."

"A municipality should be run like a business," Mr. Kendall said. "We are in the business of providing a service to the taxpayer and we should never lose track of that."

Mr. Kendall grew up in Potsdam, N.Y., a city of about 10,000 people 19 miles south of the Canadian border.

He went into the Army after receiving a bachelor's degree in business administration from Norwich University, in Northfield, Vt., in 1962. Mr. Kendall held many management-related positions while he was in the service, among them a job as city manager of a military community in Weisbaden, Germany, from 1983 until 1986.

He retired from the service as a colonel in 1987 after serving as the Inspector General for the Maryland National Guard in the First Regiment Armory in Baltimore.

He said that, while some people may be wary of a person with a military background running the city, his management style is not "dictatorial."

"Primarily what I'll bring to the job is the ability to work with people," Mr. Kendall said. "I have no difficulty working with people . . . it doesn't matter whether he is in uniform or not."

Mayor Goodrich of Brunswick said Mr. Kendall "has been very loyal . . . and he has been good PR for the city with the citizens. I am a part-time mayor, and so he's had to handle a lot of things."

Mr. Kendall was a financial planner who worked with military families for about two years after he retired from the Army in 1987.

"It was about then that I decided that I wanted to get back into directly working with people," he said.

He also holds two master's degrees -- in personnel management and organizational theory -- from Central Michigan University.

Mr. Kendall graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1974, and has attended numerous systems- and development-related courses. He is a member of the Marketing Committee for the Economic Development Commission of Frederick County, and a member of the Frederick Historical Society.

Mr. Kendall said he will have to relinquish his two elected positions -- as president of the Council of Governments and secretary of the Maryland Municipal League in Frederick -- when he comes to Taneytown.

While he may get involved with community, he will steer clear of politics.

"I am not an elected official. I am appointed. There is no entertainment of political ambition on my part," Mr. Kendall said. "In the Army, you worked for the president of the United States, whoever he was."

Mr. Kendall and his wife, Brenda, a receptionist for Aspen Publishing in Gaithersburg, will live in Frederick until they can relocate to Taneytown.

The couple has two children. His daughter Kate, 24, works in marketing at the same company. His son, Dan, 25, is a graduate student in New York.

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