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March Honorees

Cunningham Falls State Park – Day Use and Beach Improvements
Capital Construction Project, Thurmont
2-year project valued at $3.1M

Bill Schuman is an area supervisor for the Construction division’s Western Region; he took on the assignment as construction manager for this project. Bill is very conscientious and is always looking out for the state’s interests. These include not only DGS but also the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and – ultimately – Maryland’s taxpayers. All parties recognize and respect his attention to detail and focus on making sure that what has been specified is being delivered by the contractor. The ultimate professional, Bill maintains a working environment that ensures a successful project. He does great service on a daily basis.

Mark Spurrier, park ranger at the Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Park, had this to say about Bill: “Bill Schumann is very deserving of recognition. He has done a fantastic job of being very responsive to questions, relaying information and keeping the Cunningham Falls State Park day use project organized and moving forward. He has been very pleasant to work with, having a positive demeanor even on difficult days. He has promoted the interests of the state by providing appropriate checks and balances to discussion and procedures. I have said this openly in meetings this is one of the best construction projects of this magnitude I have been involved in and Bill is a big reason why.”

Linda Steinmetz, DNR Western Regional Engineer, provided this comment: “I totally agree! Bill is great. He has helped us move the Cunningham Falls project right along. I love working with him.”

Bill is dedicated to ensuring that all his assigned construction projects are high-quality and meet DNR’s needs. He often motivates the contractors to exceed expectations.

Xavier Richards, James Boyd, Michael Rose, Michael Steadman, Charles Kutlic and Kelvin Makell make up Baltimore’s FOM William Donald Schaefer Tower flag crew.

The flags atop of the tower are a point of reference for Baltimore City as well as a landmark. You can often see them in the background on the evening news, when there is a story involving Baltimore City local government or Maryland State government. The view is often captured during an at-home Orioles game and on Sundays, when the Ravens are playing at home.

The flag pole is 36 stories off the ground or 493 feet from the ground to the top of the pole.  Whenever our team changes or services the flag or guide lines they operate from the flag deck located on the 29th floor. the U. S. flag is 20’ x 30’; the Maryland flag is 12’ x 18’.

The flag crew makes roughly 30 to 40 trips each year to the flag deck to change, raise or lower, check the flags’ condition, or replace the guide lines. A 5 – 10 mph wind on the ground can be as much as 15 – 30 mph on the flag deck. During a recent wind storm, the crew was caught off guard and was not able to lower the flags prior to the storm. Ultimately, they lowered the flags, but not without some damage to the flag rope rigging.  One of the guide lines became wedged between the pulley and the mount at the base of the flag pole. With any other flag pole this would not be an issue; however, in this case the base of the flag pole is another thirty feet up.

After several failed attempts to release the rope, it became clear professional assistance from a steeplejack would be needed to free the lines. However, the contractor would not be available for three weeks due to out-of-town comments, so the crew got to work.

The team continued their attempts to free the line. After numerous trips up to the flag deck, our team finally freed the guide lines and were able to raise the flags. For all their efforts to maintain and care for the flags is why the WDST Flag Crew are this month’s “Caught DGSing” nomination.

Ms. V Drummond and her cleaning crew at 301 W. Preston continued to work alongside employees in the Office of State Procurement (OSP) when the COVID-19 virus hit Maryland and a pandemic was declared. At the time, OSP staff were scrambling to prepare to work remotely. Every day throughout this time, I caught the cleaning crew wiping off door knobs, light switches, elevator buttons, etc. Not just once, but several times a day.

The ladies’ bathroom was also thoroughly cleaned, trash removed daily, all with a pleasant attitude. I even ‘caught’ Ms. V meeting with her crew and reviewing what needed to be done. Without complaint, they worked together as a team and did it all without complaint.

Trudy Liller, Procurement Office Supervisor, OSP