PRINCESS ANNE — A Town Commissioner of the highest integrity and commitment to community service is ending his 32 years on the board as his eighth consecutive term comes to a close this week.
Garland R. Hayward Sr. was elected in 1990 and was the first Black commissioner, representing District 2. He quickly moved into a leadership position when his fellow commissioners the following year elected him vice president, and then president in July 1992.
In addition to being the agenda-setter and spokesman for the board as president, when there were vacancies in the town manager’s office Mr. Hayward would often have to step into that role as well.
During the June town meeting in the youth center that bears his name, tributes and accolades were expressed from his fellow commissioners as well as state leaders, plus he received a resolution authored by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen.
There was more than one standing ovation and several rounds of applause.
Commissioner President Lionel Frederick checked off Mr. Hayward’s service from teaching and coaching at Delmar High School where he was a Coach of the Year in Delaware to being honored during the 2021 winter commencement at UMES, his alma mater, with an honorary Doctor of Public Service.
He served in the Army, National Guard and in the Air Force Reserves, and is enrolled in the Maryland Municipal League Hall of Fame. Multiple community service groups benefit from his experience, especially the Garland Hayward Youth Center which under his watch was started.
He is one of the longest serving municipal leaders, Mr. Frederick said, adding that this “great asset to the town” always showed tremendous wisdom and kindness.
Delegate Charles Otto said he could always count on Mr. Hayward being involved with “things that mattered.” “You have exemplified integrity, and the highest commitment to the community,” he said, adding he hopes “you’re not a stranger” in retirement from municipal service.
Likewise, from the Maryland Senate, Sen. Mary Beth Carozza offered her congratulations and thanks, first for his kindness, and his wisdom. “I learned a lot from you,” she said, crediting him for rolling up his sleeves to establish the youth center which “will have a lasting impact for future generations.”
“It’s hard at the municipal level, it’s a lot harder than what we do at the state level, because you see your friends and neighbors every day, and you put yourself out there to do the best job you can.” Sen. Carozza said Mr. Hayward has served with “dignity and distinction.”
“I learned a lot,” said Commissioner Orlondo Taylor, elected in 2020 and recalling how Mr. Hayward called him after the election, asking him not to change his phone number in retirement.
“Your heart is totally here for Princess Anne,” said Commissioner Joey Gardner, who served with him for 12 years, and predicted Mr. Hayward “won’t stop being involved.”
Chief Robert Wink said Mr. Hayward was the only one in the town office who was around longer than him, saying his heart has always been in the right place, and the police department appreciates his service.
One of the newest employees, Town Manager Clayton Anderson, said when he took the job in early 2021 he first thought “they tricked me” about what his duties would be but it was Mr. Hayward’s counsel and “good advice” that helped him get through it. He said Mr. Hayward was never self-serving and had the best interest of the employees.
Similar words of gratitude were expressed by Financial Director Brandie Bozman, and James Mumford, head of public works, who said he could count on Mr. Hayward to have their back. As a member of the Main Street board, the manager Carrie Samis said Mr. Hayward supported the directors, served selflessly “with tremendous heart” and was “so humble.”
Mr. Hayward urged Princess Anne to “keep moving forward” — a take on the “Moving Forward Together” motto adopted by the commissioners in 2020 — and recalled the early days of dirt roads, no sidewalks “and an industrial park with no industries.”
“Take a look around now,” he said. “Princess Anne has become a town that is ripe with opportunity” with improved living conditions, affordable housing, recreational facilities, and with businesses on main street.
He said policies for the town are for everyone “regardless of race, creed or color.” “We must work together, and move forward together. God bless you all.”
His efforts earned him the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for 2019, which was started by Comptroller Peter Franchot.
Mr. Hayward’s successor in the District 2 seat is Commissioner Lionel Frederick who defeated challenger Rondell Redding in the June 7 election.
Mr. Hayward continues as chair of the Somerset County Local Management Board, and is on the Main Street Princess Anne board.