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Walzl forced to leave his post

October 11, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@hearld-mail.com

Gene Walzl, Hagerstown Water Department manager since 1990, has been forced to vacate his position because of a department restructuring, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said Thursday.

Walzl has been a city employee since 1981.

His annual salary was $73,000, Zimmerman said.

Walzl did not immediately return messages left on his home answering machine Thursday.

The Hagerstown City Council approved the department restructuring in closed session at Tuesday's meeting, Zimmerman said.

Walzl's last day at work in the position was Wednesday, Zimmerman said.

Walzl has been told he can apply for an open city position provided the position is not in the Water Department, Zimmerman said. No particular position was suggested, he said.

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Walzl has not indicated if he wants to continue working for the city, Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said the city wants to move the department "in a new direction that focuses on the relationship and interactions among water department employees."

Zimmerman said he could not elaborate without going into personnel issues.

Mayor William Breichner said he could not comment on the move because it was a personnel matter.

Until the final structure for the management of the department is determined, John Budesky, director of administrative services, will serve as interim department manager, Zimmerman said.

As water director, Walzl worked with Washington County on some projects.

"Gene was a pleasure to work with," Water and Sewer Director Greg Murray said. "He had been there a long time and knew the system. I will be sorry to see him leave the City of Hagerstown. I hope the replacement will be as productive for the city as he has been."

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