Hagerstown Mayor to Resign, Big Changes Ahead

Cover Photo: Mayor Emily Keller. Photo from City of Hagerstown website.

HAGERSTOWN, MD News (1/18/2023) – This week in a press conference, Mayor Emily Keller announced her intention to resign as Mayor of Hagerstown effective January 31, 2023. What’s next for Keller, and how will a new Hagerstown Mayor be selected?

Elected in 2020, Keller became the first woman in history to serve as the Mayor of the City of Hagerstown. An inspiration to many, Keller does not shy away from troubles or topics that seem uncomfortable or overwhelming. A truly hands-on leader, Keller helped guide the city through the worst of the pandemic, and became an advocate for residents facing systemic and socioeconomic circumstances. Though Keller has taken up many causes in her pursuit of justice and progress, many citizens are probably most familiar with her efforts to combat the tragic nationwide opioid epidemic that has deeply affected the City of Hagerstown, and locals were not the only people that noticed her passion and dedication to finding solutions.

Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore has selected Keller to bring her compassion and enthusiasm to Annapolis to serve as the Special Secretary of Opioid Response for the State of Maryland. Hagerstown  residents are undoubtedly proud that Keller has been appointed to such an important position, and have faith that she will have the opportunity to make such a positive impact for the countless individuals, families, and communities that have suffered great loss. Keller has graciously accepted this special appointment, but in doing so, announced her intent to tender her resignation as Mayor of Hagerstown within the next two weeks. Though her constituents and supporters are undoubtedly saddened by her impending departure from local office, they know she is just the right person to help Governor-elect Moore and his administration create a more understanding Maryland, focused on recovery and health, and curb the opioid crisis with effective and accessible prevention programs. We wish Mayor Keller the very best in her new endeavors.

So what happens next for Hagerstown? Radio Free Hub City’s BB Boring was able to ask some people in the know! According to a few city council members and people involved in local politics, there are protocols in place to efficiently move forward. First, members of the Hagerstown City Council will choose a current Councilperson to fill the vacant mayoral office. This, in turn, will leave a vacant City Council seat. The Council will then carefully review applications from qualified residents living within the City of Hagerstown to select a new councilperson.

Readers will be able to learn more about these processes and follow breaking developments in a series of subsequent articles. First, we will eagerly await the selection of a new mayor from the ranks of the current City Council. By visiting the city website, readers can familiarize themselves with each sitting Councilperson. This process could take several weeks, but surely, with so many terrific choices, selecting a new mayor is a difficult decision! When the new mayor takes office, we will explore the process of filling the newly vacated Council seat. We will learn when and how an interested party may apply, and what qualifications are necessary to be considered for appointment.

Unexpected change and unfamiliar political scenarios may seem overwhelming or confusing, but with a little luck, a spirit of community, (and a whole lot of memes), the City of Hagerstown moves forward together once more.

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