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Sharpsburg's Kesler calls it quits Monday

September 11, 2000

Sharpsburg's Kesler calls it quits Monday



By JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer


SHARPSBURG - Less than a week after publicly announcing he would not seek re-election this November, Sharpsburg Mayor George Kesler resigned from the post Monday afternoon.

Sidney Gale, who went from being vice mayor to mayor, said he found Kesler's letter of resignation at Town Hall on Monday night before the start of the regular monthly Mayor and Town Council meeting.

Kesler resigned effective at noon on Monday due to personal reasons, upon which Gale would not elaborate.

Kesler, 75, of 208 S. Church St., could not be reached for comment Monday night.

Last week Kesler said he wanted to retire from political life, saying he was worn out. Although he was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago, Kesler said that wasn't why he planned to retire and that he was now cancer free.

"I don't know what to say," Gale said when asked about Kesler's resignation at the end of Monday night's two-hour meeting.

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Gale and Councilman Ralph Hammond had said last week they hoped to talk Kesler out of his plan to retire because he did such a good job for the town.

"George was great to work with," Hammond said.

Kesler led the community through many projects, including the recent renovation of Main Street, said Hammond and his wife, Councilwoman Patti Hammond.

Councilwoman Denise Troxell, who earlier in the day attended a meeting with Kesler about the former train station outside town, also was surprised to learn of Kesler's resignation.

"I'll miss him. He's a good man. I wish him all the best," Troxell said after the meeting.

Troxell pledged to help Gale with his mayoral duties.

Gale works full time as director of physician practices for Antietam Health Services.

Gale said the council probably would not appoint a vice mayor since the Nov. 21 election is so close.

Kesler was appointed vice mayor four years ago after the resignation of Mayor Chris Yeager, making then Vice Mayor Ron Milburn mayor.

Kesler won an uncontested bid for mayor in November 1996.

After moving to Sharpsburg 24 years ago and buying the Sharpsburg General Store, Kesler became involved with the community. He served as president of the local fire company for four years and later served on Town Council for 12 years, the latter six of which he was vice mayor.

Kesler and his wife, Emmy Lou, sold the store to their daughter two years ago.

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