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Taneytown nears hiring manager


Taneytown officials have not selected a city manager yet -- but they're getting close.

Mayor Henry I. Reindollar Jr. said last week that he and the City Council were about to interview two candidates. A third candidate is also being considered.

"We advertised again, and these candidates are from the second set of applications," Mr. Reindollar said. "We're calling in one of the people from the last set to come in for another interview."

City officials advertised for a new city manager in municipal publications shortly after Joseph A. Mangini Jr. was fired in August by the mayor and council for unspecified reasons.

Mr. Mangini became the city manager of Indian Head, in Charles County, a short time later.

Taneytown officials wanted to fill the position as soon as possible, but holidays, outside commitments and meetings hindered their progress. They did not interview the first set of applicants until last month.

The city readvertised the opening shortly after officials began interviewing, in case none of the top candidates from the first set of applicants was able to take the job.

As the mayor and City Council sought to plug that hole in the city staff, other positions opened up.

Mark Gross, owner of the Westminster Inn and developer of various Taneytown properties, resigned as zoning administrator in October after city officials recognized a possible conflict between his zoning position and his private business.

The city also has advertised for a recreation director "who will be responsible for the development, implementation and supervision of recreational activities in the city's four parks."

City employees have taken on extra duties to plug the gaps as officials attempt to fill the vacant positions.

The recreational director's duties have been shared. Linda Hess, the city clerk-treasurer, has been supervising the swimming pool for four years and, with the city office staff, has coordinated reservations for park pavilions.

Reservations for ball fields are coordinated by adults running the town's Little League program.

Some park events are organized by volunteers on the city's recreation council.

Laverne Smith, the code enforcement officer, has been running the planning commission meetings in place of a zoning administrator.

"Well, one of the problems is that the city manager would be responsible for hiring the zoning administrator and the recreation director," Ms. Hess said. "With no city manager, the mayor and council have had to deal with all of this on their own."

The city is accepting applications for the recreation director's job, but it could be some time before a new zoning administrator is chosen.

"The zoning administrator's job will not be filled until we get a city manager," Mr. Reindollar said. "We want to see what kind of talents [a city manager] will bring to the job before we get [a zoning administrator]."

Officials also have discussed hiring a zoning planner, who would be a consultant to the city and would evaluate development plans to ensure that they conform to the city's planning objectives.

Mr. Reindollar said the zoning planner position is "not official" but that he has asked other mayors about sharing a planner because Taneytown doesn't need a full-time person in that job.

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