Cumberland Times-News

February 20, 2013

Garrett County director accepts challenge

Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

— OAKLAND — When John Henry Frank III took the oath of office as Garrett County’s new director of emergency management, he was told by County Commissioner Jim Raley that a lot of work needs to be done.

“Obviously we need to get the emergency operations center in place now. It’s long overdue,” said Raley at the commission’s public meeting Tuesday.

 Frank thanked the commissioners for their selection, Gov. Martin O’Malley for the appointment and Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator, for providing a smooth transition.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead and to better serve the citizens and visitors of Garrett County,” said Frank.

Frank noted he would work on enhancing the county’s emergency operations by providing the appropriate resources in the appropriate amount of time.

Frank was employed with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for more than 20 years and has held duties as a forensic investigator with the state Office of Chief Medical Examiner since 2001, according to a letter written by county commission chairman Robert Gatto to O’Malley. Frank was an officer with the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office but resigned the position to accept his new role.

Frank also thanked Sherriff Rob Corley for his motivation and dedication to public service, stating, “I do appreciate your leadership.”

“The county is in great hands,” said Corley. “There is no doubt in my mind that John Henry will tackle this task full force. I know we will be better than we were. Not that we were bad, because we weren’t. He will have big shoes to fill. I have the utmost confidence in his abilities.”

Frank replaces former director Brad Frantz, who held the position for 35 years.

Also during the meeting,  Maj. Terry Schlossnagle, jail administrator of the Garrett County Detention Center, was presented with a Recognition of Achievement Award for 100 percent compliance with standards for adult correctional facilities. The Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards conducted an in-depth, weeklong audit in March 2012 where members of outside agencies reviewed the detention center’s procedures and documentation to meet Maryland correctional standards, according to Schlossnagle.

“Obtaining 100 percent compliance for all of the correctional standards is difficult, but through the efforts of our dedicated Garrett County Detention Center employees, we were able to excel,” stated Schlossnagle in an email to the commissioners.

Schlossnagle thanked Corley and the correctional officers for their work.

  “I am proud to work with such a great group of professionals,” stated Schlossnagle in the email.  

Corley noted that he spoke with the commissioners a year ago about a new jail but instead opted to put that money toward education.

“These awards are a direct relation to you guys allowing us to fix what we have down there,” said Corley. “For them to tell us we had made vast improvements is a huge pat on the back for the county in general. We will continue to do the best we can, work with what we have and see to it that we meet all the guidelines and standards in future years.”

In other commission news, A.J. Fleming, president of the Garrett County Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association, spoke about the group and House Bill 990. The bill, which was requested by QDMA and introduced by Delegate Wendell Beitzel, would prohibit the taking of any antlered deer with less than three points on one side of the main beam, excluding the brow tine, in the county. The bill, as amended, would exclude youth hunters under the age of 16 and senior hunters age 65 or older, according to Beitzel.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.