MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A few months after long-time Martinsburg City Manager Mark Baldwin announced his October retirement, his replacement has been named.
At Thursday’s meeting, The Martinsburg City Council appointed Andrew “Andy” Blake as the new city manager. Mayor Kevin Knowles presided over the vote:
Blake has most recently served as assistant city manager and will take over when Baldwin retires October 28th.
According to the announcement from the city, Blake served for 20 years as an attorney in the private sector and has been at his most recent post as assistant city manager for three years. He served Martinsburg as an attorney in its planning and zoning departments.
Blake is a graduate of Shepherd University and WVU.
Baldwin helped bring Blake on board as assistant city manager three years ago and said, “I congratulate Andy and look forward to watching him implement his ideas alongside the Mayor and City Council to make Martinsburg even more successful and a quality place to live.”
For his part, Blake, who has known Baldwin for more than 20 years, said the city will be losing “a wealth of institutional knowledge, history, and expertise” upon Baldwin’s retirement. He said he’d be absorbing as much from his mentor as he could before October 28th.
“I am willing to put in the work, effort, and passion required to make Martinsburg an even better place to live, work, and play and to embrace our position as one of West Virginia’s major economic engines.”
The press release from the city notes Martinsburg is the largest municipality in the Eastern Panhandle and the sixth largest in the state with nearly 19,000 residents.
Baldwin has served the city for 27 years. He announced his retirement in June.
Blake’s unanimous appointment is a result of his proven experience. He has served three years as assistant city manager for Martinsburg and also brings legal knowledge from his 20-year career as a private-sector lawyer representing local governmental entities, as well as an in-house city attorney and city manager. He has worked as a planning and zoning lawyer, prosecutor and substitute general counsel.
Currently, Blake is president of the West Virginia City Managers Association. He will be adding to his list of duties Oct. 28, as the council unanimously voted to have Blake fill an unexpired term to the Region 9 Planning and Development Council, as well replace Baldwin’s position serving on Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization (HEPMPO).
The council also celebrated Baldwin, as he was recognized for being inducted into the West Virginia Municipal League (WVML) Hall of Fame. He announced his intent to retire in June after 27 years of service to the city.