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Troxell named EDC chief

November 20, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday hired Tim Troxell as director of the Economic Development Commission, a post that pays $68,500 a year.

Troxell had been the acting director since May, when former Director John Howard retired.

Commissioners Vice President Paul L. Swartz at first voted against Troxell's appointment, but then changed his mind after he was the lone commissioner to vote against the hiring.

"I'm very happy that the EDC and the County Commissioners have the confidence in my leadership abilities to run this department, and I hope to make them proud of the decision," Troxell said Tuesday night.

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Troxell, 36, also thanked the local business community for supporting his bid for the top post by writing letters of recommendation on his behalf.

Troxell said his main goal as director is the same as the EDC's mission, which is to attract new companies and help existing companies expand in the hope of providing higher-wage jobs for county citizens.

He said he doesn't expect that goal to come without challenges.

"One of our challenges is going to be the ability to attract more businesses to the area while still maintaining the quality of life that everybody here enjoys," Troxell said.

A Washington County native, Troxell received his undergraduate degree from Frostburg State University and his graduate degree from Hood College.

He said he's worked in the economic development field since he's been out of college.

Swartz said he originally voted against the appointment because he didn't like the way Howard's retirement came about. Swartz has said he thought others in the county pushed Howard out.

Swartz said he also objected to the county approving a confidentiality agreement to keep the amount of Howard's retirement compensation a secret.

County administrators and the commissioners have not disclosed the amount, and a newly elected commissioner has since filed suit against the county.

"I was not comfortable with it," Swartz said of the hiring. "It's nothing against Tim. I think he'll do a great job, but I had to vote my conscience."

"I'm not a commissioner anymore basically because of things like this," said Swartz, who failed to win re-election in Nov. 5 balloting. "I've taken a beating on it."

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