Brunswick’s city administrator stepping down -- Gazette.Net



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Eight months after nearly quitting his position because of concerns over his ability to work with the city’s new mayor, Brunswick City Administrator Rick Weldon is headed for the exit again.

Weldon’s last day with the small city along the Potomac River will be April 27, according to an announcement Wednesday from Brunswick Mayor Karin Tome.

Tome said Weldon’s decision didn’t come as a complete surprise, although she was hoping he would stay.

“Rick has decided, however, that his initial concerns for our differing styles, paired with a desire to pursue some personal goals, makes it too difficult to remain in his current job,” she wrote in a statement.

Weldon had initially announced his departure after Tome was elected in August, citing a concern that their differing political ideologies would keep him from being able to effectively implement her plans for the city.

He declined to elaborate on what the pressing differences were, and Tome said she didn’t want to speak for Weldon.

While serving as a state delegate in 2008, Weldon changed his party affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated, citing a “broken culture” in Annapolis.

Tome said Wednesday that Weldon had expressed his concerns to her after her election, and she had asked him to stay on for six months to a year as she settled into the mayor’s job.

He has helped her significantly as she learned the ropes, she said.

“He gave it a good try,” she said.

In an email to the media Wednesday, Weldon declined to comment beyond the release Tome had sent out announcing his departure.

Tome said it would be hard to replace Weldon’s knowledge of the city’s history and the issues facing it.

Along with his institutional knowledge, Weldon “has got a special talent” for being able to listen to various issues and concerns and come up with a solution that’s acceptable to everyone, Tome said.

Tome said she’d like to have a replacement in place by the end of May, but doesn’t want to rush the process because city administrator is such an important position that requires a working knowledge of public works, planning, accounting and budget management, among other skills.

The deadline for applications will be April 29, although education and other requirements for the position have not been announced.

The city had some excellent candidates eight months ago, and they will likely see if any of those people are still interested, Tome said.

Weldon has held a variety of high-profile public and private positions in the county in recent years.

He has expressed an interest in running for county executive when Frederick County moves to charter government in 2014.

Weldon returned to Brunswick in January 2011, after previously serving as the city administrator from 1994-99.

He also served as a county commissioner in 2001 and 2002 and as a state delegate from 2002 until resigning in 2009.

He worked as chief executive officer of the Frederick County United Way in 2008 and as executive assistant to Frederick Mayor Randy McClement (R) in 2009 and 2010.

rmarshall@gazette.net