New city manager called a visionary

Official was sheriff in W.Va. for 8 years

March 09, 2001|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

Working in municipal government might run in the family for Taneytown's new city manager.

Patrick Nield's father was a school board president. His grandfather served as mayor of Ridgeley, W.Va., for 36 years. And his second cousin was a city clerk and sheriff for more than a decade.

The new city manager was sheriff of Mineral County, W.Va., for eight years. His duties there ranged from local law enforcement to collecting taxes.

Taking the city manager job made sense to Nield, 33, a former Army infantryman and father of four small children.

"This is definitely my interest," he said.

Nield, who moved from Keyser, W.Va., was hired last month to replace Charles P. "Chip" Boyles II, who resigned in October to return to his home state of South Carolina.

Taneytown Mayor Henry C. Heine Jr. said the city received about 20 applications for the job - a pool that was narrowed to three finalists - and Nield was the most qualified.

"It was unanimous," said Heine, who noted Nield's "wide diversity of experience" and "extensive financial background" as factors in hiring him.

"There were three things I was looking for in a city manager," Heine said. "Good project management skills. You have to be diplomatic in dealing with the public. And you need to be a visionary."

Nield, he said, has those qualifications.

Nield is a native of Mineral County, W.Va., a community of about 30,000.

A 1989 graduate of Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, he was familiar with Taneytown when he read the city manager job posting on a Web site.

He was drawn to Taneytown because "the city has a positive attitude toward growth," said Nield, who grew up in Keyser, a city of about 7,000 people.

"People are open to growth, yet they're mindful of the small-town atmosphere," he said.

His first official tasks include preparing for construction of the city's police station and overseeing renovations to City Hall.

Taneytown, population 5,000, has 28 employees and a $3 million annual budget.

Nield's salary is in the "low $50,000" range, Heine said.

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