Hampstead unlikely to fill posts in time

New town manager, council member have yet to be appointed

June 21, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Prospects for appointing a new member to the Hampstead Town Council and hiring a new town manager by July 13 -- the date of the next council meeting -- "are possible but not likely," says Mayor Christopher M. Nevin.

The council seat became vacant when Councilwoman Wendy Martin resigned last month and moved to Florida.

The town manager's position became vacant in December, when Neil Ridgely resigned. Ridgely tried to rescind his resignation, but Nevin and the Town Council let it stand.

Nevin said town officials have received more than 70 resumes for the town manager's job, which will have a starting salary of $40,000 to $45,000.

The mayor appointed a committee this month to join him in reviewing each resume to narrow the applicants for interviews. The committee is composed of Councilman Steve Holland, Police Chief Kenneth Meekins and Hampstead Business Association President Christian E. Cavey.

"After we hold interviews, we may want to call certain applicants back for a second interview," Nevin said. "With the July 4 holiday coming, I just don't know if there will be enough time to name a town manager at the next council meeting. But I wouldn't rule it out."

One person has expressed interest in filling Martin's seat for two more years, Nevin said.

"I have to get together with the remaining council members and find out how they want to handle that," he said.

In May's election, incumbents Nevin and Councilmen Holland and Lawrence H. Hentz won re-election. Hentz edged candidate Denise M. Justice, chairwoman of the town's Board of Zoning Appeals, 203-202 to retain his seat on the five-member board. Keith Heindel received 123 votes and Steven Balaz received 111.

The Town Council could select one of those three, or someone else.

Less than 19 percent of the town's 2,488 registered voters participated in the general election.

In other Hampstead business, Nevin said he was hopeful that town officials could meet with the Board of County Commissioners to work out details so a new post office might be located on the site of the old Hampstead Elementary School.

For that to happen, the county and state Board of Education would have to declare the deteriorated building as surplus and deed it to the county government. The commissioners would then have to donate or sell it for a nominal fee to the town, which in turn would give or sell it to the U.S. Postal Service.

Those events, or at least a commitment from all of the parties involved, could pave the way for the Postal Service to conduct a feasibility study.

Nevin and the Town Council assured postal authorities that they would obtain a commitment to secure the property by the end of July.

In return, Postal Service officials said, they would stop consideration on buying one of two potential sites under consideration.

Hampstead's cramped 3,600-square-foot post office is about one-third the size of what is needed to serve the growing town of 4,200, Postal Service officials have said.

Pub Date: 6/21/99

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