Former Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane is set to take over a new role later this month as Bel Air’s interim town administrator.
Mayor Rob Reier said Bane will serve a six-month stint, which he likened to a “trial” period for both sides ahead of a possible permanent commitment.
The former sheriff takes over from Jim Fielder, who was selected in December as Governor-elect Larry Hogan’s Secretary of Appointments. Fielder’s last day with the town is Jan. 20; a vote to appoint Bane to the interim position is scheduled for the same night.
“We were in a work session, I guess you could say brainstorming, and his name came up.” Reier said Wednesday night. “We took the ball and ran with it from there.”
Bane served two terms as sheriff, from 2006 until this fall, when he was defeated by challenger Jeff Gahler.
As town administrator, Bane will wield broad powers over the day-to-day operations of the town and will serve as the director of all of its departments. In that role, he will also be reunited with Jack Meckley, who recently served as a Sheriff’s Office major under Bane and has been Bel Air Police Department’s acting chief since October while Chief Leo Matrangola is on medical leave. Bane did not return a call for comment Wednesday night.
Reier emphasized that the “interim” label was applied to Bane’s position by mutual consent, with the hope that the former sheriff would assume the role on a permanent basis.
“It’s something both parties wanted to do. It’s really twofold…we wanted to get someone in place, and have a quick turnaround,” Reier said. “[And] it’ll give the sheriff time to get a feel for the job.”
From the Town of Bel Air:
Bel Air, Maryland – The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners is announcing that L. Jesse Bane will serve in an interim capacity as Town Administrator. The current Town Administrator, James D. Fielder, Jr., Ph.D., accepted an appointment to Maryland Governor-Elect Larry Hogan’s Cabinet as Secretary of Appointments. Dr. Fielder’s last day with the Town of Bel Air is January 20, 2015. The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the appointment of Jesse Bane to the position of Interim Town Administrator at the Town Hall Meeting on January 20, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., at Bel Air Town Hall, 39 N. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, MD.