Salisbury councilman ready to tackle responsibilities

new-councilman

As he begins his term on the Salisbury City Council, R. Hardy Rudasill is eager to work with fellow Council members and become acclimated to city government.

The 38-year-old Prince George’s County native said he was encouraged by neighbors and friends to apply for the City Council seat and represent District 5, after Councilwoman Laura Mitchell resigned.

“They thought I would be a good fit,” he said.

The equity compliance officer at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Rudasill was one of three applicants to complete the remainder of Mitchell’s four-year term. His appointment was made after City Council discussion, in closed session, and announced on Oct. 24. He was sworn in that evening and immediately joined the Council.

A lawyer by trade who still practices law, Rudasill graduated from UMES and decided to live on the Shore while studying there.

“When I saw the quality of life here I preferred it to the quality of life around the beltway. It is not by accident that I am here,” he said.

Likewise, he said he would like to see the city work to attract young people to Salisbury and “capture some of the students who come to study at Salisbury University.”

“The city is in a good state. I know people might believe otherwise but the city functions. And the primary purpose is to be sure the city functions. But I’m not naïve. I don’t think my role on the City Council is to make those things happen unilaterally. We are a legislative body,” Rudasill said.

Rudasill, formerly a member of the city’s Housing Board of Adjustments and Appeals, where he served two years, was one of what Council President Jack Heath called “three good candidates.”

Ray Sander and Hsin Cheu also applied.

“Mr. Rudasill was the unanimous choice, based on his understanding of how the city government works and his priorities as a potential Council member,” Heath said.

“He understands the importance of it. I look forward to working with him. He is very intelligent,” Heath said.

Heath said he and Rudasill met for breakfast and “I gave him a few pointers.”

“We has a lot of catching up to do. We have some stuff in process and new stuff coming up,” Heath said.

Rudasill earned his juris doctor degree from the Illinois College of Law.

He worked for Sen. Paul Sarbanes, the Upward Bound Program at the University of Maryland, the University of Illinois Law Library, Wor-Wic Community College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the office of the public defender.

Mayor Jake Day, who, encouraged Rudasill’s appointment to the housing board when he was City Council president, said the Council made a fine choice by appointing him.

“I’ve been proud to know Hardy for several years and was delighted to see his name in the ring to replace Councilwoman Mitchell. After the interviews, it was clear that this thoughtful, humble man was perfect for the job. He is no doubt going to be a great addition to Team Salisbury,” Day told the Salisbury Independent.

Day said he’s also pleased Councilman Muir Boda was named vice president of the City Council, filling the position Mitchell had.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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