County Comment: Board of County Commissioners Names Murray County Administrator

County Comment
Board of County Commissioners Names Murray County Administrator
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

After careful consideration of several highly qualified candidates, on Tuesday, February 20, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners selected Gregory B. Murray, Director of the Department of Water Quality (DWQ), as the new Washington County Administrator.
The Commissioners cited Murray's 24 years of public administration and his leadership role over the County's $205 million in Water Quality Department assets during his 10 years as DWQ Director. His Management and Public Administration experience includes budgeting, personnel, facility management, design and design review, regulatory compliance, project management, system evaluation, training, computer system and technology implementation, governmental operations and interaction with the public.
The Commissioners said Murray has an extensive knowledge of the County's infrastructure needs, planning and regulatory issues, and shares a good working relationship all of the County's departments, with community organizations and businesses, and with the County's nine municipalities.
He has authored regulations for State approval, local codes and ordinances, safety policies and rate studies and is a contributor to a nationally distributed Manual of Practice.
Originally employed by the Washington County Sanitary District as the Laboratory Director in 1983, Murray was WCSD Supervisor of Facilities from 1989-1994, served as Director of Utilities and Public Works for the Town of Hancock from 1994-97, prior to being employed as Director of Washington County's Water and Sewer Operations in 1997. The department's name was changed in 2003 to come in line with environmental regulations.
Under his direction, DWQ was one of the first such departments in Maryland to institute wireless remote technology for control of pumping stations. Electronic payment of water and sewer bills was also put into place during his term as Director.
He worked with the Governor's Office and the Local Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on Senate Bill 320, the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act, and was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich to the Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee. He has worked closely with Environmental Protection Administration and the Maryland Department of the Environment to improve the quality of wastewater processed by all County treatment facilities and ensures the quality of water supplied to customers on the County system.
Environmental Licenses held by Murray include Class 4 Water Treatment and Water Superintendent, Class 5 Wastewater Treatment and Wastewater Superintendent, Distribution System, Distribution Superintendent, Class 2 Collection System, Class 2 Collection Superintendent and Maryland State Sediment Control Inspector.
Murray has been commended on numerous occasions over his 10-year Directorship for helping reduce water and wastewater treatment costs through innovative practices and techniques. In 2005 he wrote a state grant that brought $6.5 million to the County for Biological Nutrient Removal upgrades to the wastewater treatment system as part of the Chesapeake Bay project. He was instrumental in closing of the outdated Nicodemus treatment plant, which saved millions in retrofitting costs for that outmoded facility.
He takes the reins from Rodney M. Shoop, who has served as County Administrator since 1995. Shoop announced his retirement in September of 2006.
The Board was to officially appoint Murray to his new role as County Administrator at its meeting on February 27t.
A native of Washington County, he currently resides with his family in the Smithsburg area.