Sykesville town manager makes 'hardest decision,' resigns after one year

“I am so very proud of all of the things we have been able to accomplish together,” outgoing Sykesville Town Manager Aretha Adams says in her resignation letter.
“I am so very proud of all of the things we have been able to accomplish together,” outgoing Sykesville Town Manager Aretha Adams says in her resignation letter. (Courtesy photo/Aretha Adams)

Sykesville Town Manager Aretha Adams submitted her resignation to the mayor and Town Council last week after serving for one year.

“I am so very proud of all of the things we have been able to accomplish together,” Adams says in a resignation letter.


Despite recent successes for the town, such as finalizing the sale of Warfield, Adams’ family is moving back to Texas, she said.

“Recently my family made the decision to return to Texas due to my husband’s position at work. I am not exaggerating when I say this was the hardest decision I have ever had to make,” states the letter.


The Sykesville town manager’s responsibilities are to “oversee the day to day operations of the Town government through the supervision and guidance of its departments, implementing policies, enforcing ordinances, presenting a balanced Town budget, working with the Town’s stakeholders, and fulfilling the vision, mission and goals established by the Mayor and Town Council,” according to the Town of Sykesville website.

The Sykesville Mayor and Town Council announced on Jan. 9 that after a search process that launched in August, the town had chosen to hire Aretha Adams as their new town manager.

Adams came to the town from Lancaster, Texas, after working for municipalities across the country — including Florida, Washington, D.C., and California — over the past 12 years.

When she was first hired, she said the Warfield project grabbed her attention, the approximately 91-acre property the town sold last summer after a journey that started in the mid-1990s.

The former Springfield Hospital Center property is now slated for residential, commercial and employment uses, with the construction of 145 town homes underway.

Sykesville Mayor Ian Shaw said the town has been lucky to have Adams for the time she has been on the staff.

Town, county and state officials were all present for Thursday’s ground breaking ceremony at Warfield at Historic Sykesville — celebrating Warfield Companies’ official acquisition of the former Springfield Hospital site and the beginning of construction for 145 townhomes.

“We achieved much in the brief time she was here and we all will miss her and hate to see her leave,” he said in a news release. “That said, we all understand and admire her for putting her family’s best interest first. I and the entire Council wish her much success in all of her future endeavors.”

According to the resignation letter, Adams helped update internal policies, create a more comprehensive budget process, increase community engagement and develop a cohesive team unit among town staff.

And the guidance she brought town staff over the past year puts Sykesville in an even better position to keep moving forward, the mayor said. Shaw said he, along with Adams and the Town Council, are working together on a transition plan.

“I'm hoping it’s a springboard for the future,” Shaw told the Times. “I feel like, the staff, they’re in a much better position now to make it through this transition and do their jobs. We’re going to try to stay on the track.”

He said the town’s growth and successes can be attributed to the teamwork all around.

Warfield Companies just closed the deal on its 91-acre complex earlier this month and a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for next week to celebrate a project has ebbed and flowed for almost 20 years.  The mixed-use development, being rebranded to “Warfield at Historic Sykesville,” ...

“It’s everybody pitching in,” Shaw said. “One person isn't going to make us or break us. That includes me. And that’s what you hope for: that the town can keep thriving without just one individual thing.

“We have a really great group of folks,” he said.


But, of course, he hopes the process of getting a new manager is speedy, he said.

Jared Schumacher, a Circuit Rider focusing on grant management who has been with the town since 2017, is expected to fill an interim manager role and make “sure that the positive momentum continues” in a way similar to past transitions, according to the release.

“He is a talented staff member whom quickly adapts to needs and goals to achieve results,” Shaw said in the release. “I have full confidence that Jared and the staff will step up to assist us during this transition.”

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