(9/4) When Dave Haller became the
Emmitsburg town manager 10 years ago, he wasn’t long on the job before the town
had to secure a $40,000 loan just to make payroll.
“When Dave and I came to the town
government, the town was not in the best financial situation,” said Mayor James
But that was then. This is now.
As Haller celebrates 10 years at the helm
of the town, he also can be proud of 10 years of budgets that have been able to
reduce the town’s debt while still staying in the black.
“I’ve been able to apply a business
practicality to the way the town runs that wasn’t there before,” Haller said.
Haller was originally a commissioner in
1998, beating out Hoover for the seat. However, after only a couple months in
office, he moved from Emmitsburg and resigned his seat.
“My wife wanted our son to attend high
school in Walkersville or Myersville,” Haller said.
So the Hallers moved to Walkersville. Then
when Haller’s wife heard about the job opening for the town manager position,
she told her husband. Haller applied, thinking it was a way he could still be
involved with the town he had grown to love.
“I was thinking this would be a half-time
job…surprise!” Haller said.
Since becoming a town employee, it seems
like a lot of his work has centered around water and sewer issues, which
Haller’s background in civil engineering and surveying helps him with.
He has helped secure funding for a new
sewer plant, established new water and sewer fee schedules, made the water and
sewer system into enterprise funds, helped negotiate the water contract with
Mount St. Mary’s University for additional water usage, established the tap fee
schedule, worked to get the National Fire Academy to pay tap fees for their
campus expansion, worked to enhance the town water and sewer capacity and added
land to the town watershed.
“It has had a lot to do with water and
sewer because we really are a water and sewer company,” Haller said.
He said he has enjoyed the work because it
is different everyday. He enjoys being able to help people and being able to
plan for the town’s growth.
“When I do leave, I kinda want things to
be on auto-pilot and have the next person not have to leap into the fire,”
Hoover, who got his own start in politics
with Haller’s resignation, said, “Although he and I do not always agree on
everything, I do appreciate Dave’s diligence on a project. He’s thorough and
thinks through long-term implications.”
The two things Haller hopes to accomplish
in the future are to bring additional water capacity online for the town and to
get the town’s comprehensive plan approved.
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