Sarasota County, Florida (population 379,448): New chief administrator Randall Reid promises less polish as he prepares to take the helm of Sarasota’s $857 million-a-year county government. On Jan. 23, Reid will become the key architect of the county’s recovery from a messy scandal that highlighted ethical lapses and favoritism in how the county awarded contracts to private vendors. The problems went largely undetected for years, but when they finally surfaced, they cost the former administrator his job. Rebuilding the public’s trust is job No. 1, and Reid says it will not get done with a public relations campaign. Reid, 57, says he intends to deal with problems openly, and that he expects a certain amount of messiness to seep into the twice-monthly meetings of the Board of County Commissioners. Read more at the Herald-Tribune.
Sussex County, Delaware (population 197,145): The New Year brings new leadership to Sussex County. Today Todd Lawson takes over as the county administrator. Former administrator David Baker announced his retirement last January, but held on to the position through the year as it took much longer for his successor to be named. Then Lawson spent the rest of the year learning the ropes. Lawson is now responsible for the day to day operations of the County government – and leads a workforce of about 500. This week’s Sussex County Council meeting could bring some changes as well as the first order of business is the council’s reorganization. Read more at WGMD.com.
Rancho Mirage, California (population 17,218): A week after City Manager Patrick Pratt announced his retirement following 33 years with the city, the City Council offered his job Thursday to the city’s director of community development. The City Council held a special closed session Thursday to discuss how to fill Pratt’s job and voted unanimously to offer the position to Randal Bynder, said City Attorney Steve Quintanilla. Pratt, 60, declined to give specific reasons for his retirement, which will take effect Feb. 3. The job is Bynder’s pending successful negotiation of a contract, which will be voted on in open session. Pratt’s current annual salary is $242,778. Mayor Dana Hobart said the council was already inclined to consider in-house candidates for the job after getting word of Pratt’s plans last week, but Thursday’s state Supreme Court decision allowing California to scrap the state’s redevelopment districts, including Rancho Mirage’s, created a new urgency. Randy Bynder graduated from UCLA with a master’s degree in architecture and urban planning on a Sunday in 1986, and started working as a planning technician in Rancho Mirage the next day. Read more at MyDesert.com.
Ionia, Michigan (population 11,394): After serving as interim Ionia County Administrator since June, Stephanie Hurlbut was appointed by the Ionia County Board of Commissioners as Ionia County Administrator. Commissioners approved a two-year contract and a definition of Hurlbut’s position. Hurlbut will be taking on the role after all commissioners approved the appointment. Her role will be as administrator and also to perform the duties of the finance officer, her previous position. She will be paid for five extra hours a week to perform the finance officer role. Read more at the Sentinel-Standard.
North Bend, Oregon (population 9,695): It’s expected to be a smooth transition when North Bend City Administrator Jan Willis’ tenure as City Administrator ends, and her replacement takes over the first of the New Year. Terrence O’Connor moves over from his City Manager position at Coquille to replace Willis. Read more at Coos Bay North Bend Oregon News.