2015-06-12 / Front Page

Longtime Blacksburg administrator calls it quits

Ledger Staff Writer

Blacksburg Mayor David Hogue tried to keep his composure, but he couldn’t contain the tears welling in his eyes.

During a day he hoped would never come, the Iron City mayor tearfully delivered the news — his right-hand woman was stepping aside.

Longtime Blacksburg Town Administrator Trudy Martin has chosen to resign from her position, effective July 17. She departed Tuesday’s meeting before the announcement of her resignation.

“I found out yesterday that Trudy was planning on doing this and it comes as somewhat of a shock,” Hogue said. “… The success of this town is due to her leadership, including the building we sit in and the programs we employ.”

See interview with the Mayor:

Martin was employed by the municipality in July of 1973, initially collecting water bills. The following year, she was promoted to the role of town clerk. In 1989, she assumed the role of town administrator.

She retired in 2005. However, following the sudden death of her successor Danny McDaniel, Martin was swept back into duty — not by arm-wringing courtesy of town officials — but rather because she wants to serve the place she calls home.

“(Martin) had retired, but when administrator (McDaniel) died suddenly, the next morning I didn’t get much sleep,” Hogue said. “Wondering what I am going to do, what the town was going do. Trudy was at my house the next morning and was back at work.”

Over the course of the past year, Martin had been embroiled in her share of controversy, including a lawsuit filed against her and Hogue by Charlotte, N.C.-based developer Kelvin Young. The developer claimed defamation regarding the construction of a building dedicated to the municipality’s vintage fire truck.

The lawsuit has since been settled.

Hogue said Martin’s contribution to the Town of Blacksburg is “immeasurable.”

“(Martin) has made me, made this council, this town a much better place,” he said. “She will be hard to replace.”

According to the Blacksburg mayor, the Iron City governing body will begin its search for a new town administrator by holding a meeting with the Appalachian Council of Governments and the state Municipal Association. During this period they will draft a job description fitting for the position, a process Hogue expects to take up to 10 days.

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