Charles County Dir. of Dept. of Community Services Resigns

LA PLATA, Md. (July 14, 2008)—The Charles County Board of Commissioners announced on Friday that the director of Community Services, Margaret E. Cheseldine, announced her resignation effective July 11 to "pursue private business opportunities."

Karen Lehman Cieplak, chief of the Charles County Division on Aging, has been appointed acting director of Community Services.

The Commissioners say they plan to conduct a nationwide search for a permanent director.

Cheseldine began her career with Charles County Government in 1977 and rose through the ranks holding several positions. She was the Grants and Housing Administrator, and in 1984, she became the County's first female department head as Director of Government Services which combined all senior citizen programs and housing services into one department.

Cheseldine was named Director of the Department of Community Services in 1988.

The County Commissioners cited the following accomplishments for Cheseldine in their announcement:

-- For the past 20 years she helped to reorganize and combine the most direct public services into one Department.

-- During her tenure, Community Services received national recognition for its innovative programs and services. She has rallied the cause for seniors including the increased social and recreational opportunities for the elderly of Charles County.

-- A champion for the needs of children, Cheseldine recommended and established the first child care program for the County working cooperatively with the Board of Education in utilizing elementary schools for the provision of affordable “before and after school” child care programs.

-- Under Cheseldine's direction the County's comprehensive transportation system VanGO, was established. She also developed and expanded recreational programs and opportunities to improve the quality of life in Charles County.

-- In addition to her many community efforts, Cheseldine has served as Executive Director of the Housing Authority overseeing all federal and state housing and community development programs.

“Ms. Cheseldine has done an outstanding job for the County. She has enhanced many of the programs in the county, has been a dedicated and loyal employee and she will be missed. The Commissioners wish her well in her future endeavors,” said Commissioner President, Wayne Cooper.

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