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Town manager never gets bored

February 04, 2003|by ASHLEY GORDON

John L. Kendall, Boonsboro's town manager, says he is enjoying the position he has held since October.

"Boonsboro is a nice town with good people," Kendall said.

He said he enjoys the challenge of his job, which he described as "maintaining the life cycle of Boonsboro."

Kendall said his job is to run the town during the business day, but he is on call 24 hours a day and must attend every meeting of the Town Council.

"I never get bored," he said. He noted his responsibilities that range from water leaks on residential streets, to speeding, to juvenile delinquency.

Kendall lives with his wife, Brenda, in Frederick County, Md. His son, Daniel, is a high school teacher in Queens, N.Y., and his daughter, Katherine, works at a legal service sales company in Delaware.

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Kendall said he grew up in Potsdam, N.Y., one of five boys. His mother was a piano teacher and he and his brothers had a dance band. He also played violin for 13 years.

He stopped playing music to go to Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, but music is still his hobby, he said.

Before he became Boonsboro's town manager, Kendall served in the U.S. Army for 25 years, retiring in 1987 with the rank of colonel. He started to take interest in town management in 1983 when stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he was deputy community commander of an Army base for three years. In that role, he managed the community of officers and their families stationed there.

After moving back to Frederick and working in financial planning for military officers for almost three years, he started a career in town management.

He was a city administrator in Brunswick, Md., for four years, then worked in Taneytown, Md., for one year. He worked in the Frederick Mayor's Office for five months as an administrative assistant, before becoming the general manager of the Lake Linganore Homeowners' Association for three years.

For another three years Kendall worked for an office that managed three Frederick County homeowners' associations.

With his experience in watching town development, Kendall said he sees growing residential development around Boonsboro as a challenge in the immediate future.

For the next three to five years, residential housing development will take up a lot of land around the town limits, Kendall said.

It is uncertain if the town will annex the new development, Kendall said. If so, he said, he hopes Washington County will make sure the infrastructure is adequate.

He said Frederick County had problems when new developments were connected to Frederick.

"History will probably repeat itself," Kendall said, but added that he hopes Washington County will learn from the mistakes made by other counties.

Some things that need to be taken into consideration are water and power supplies, he said.

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