Georgetown, DE – Sussex County leaders are turning to a Georgetown native and federal government relations professional to take the helm as County government’s next top appointed official.
County Council, at its Tuesday, July 26, 2011, meeting, appointed Todd F. Lawson as County Administrator, effective no later than Jan. 1, 2012.
Mr. Lawson succeeds retiring administrator David Baker, becoming the sixth County Administrator since the Delaware General Assembly converted the old Levy Court into the current County Council in the early 1970s.
A graduate of the University of Delaware with a law degree from George Mason University, Mr. Lawson brings with him a first-hand understanding of governmental process and strong relationships both in Washington, D.C., and here in Delaware.
Most recently, he worked for the communications and marketing firm Russ Reid Co. in Washington, working on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of non-profit groups and municipal clients.
Prior to his work at Russ Reid, Mr. Lawson served as deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he was a chief liaison to Congress, responsible for managing personnel and coordinating the Department’s programs, including working directly with local governments similar to Sussex County.
Mr. Lawson’s appointment as County Administrator is a homecoming for the 36-year-old married father of two, who grew up in the Georgetown area and whose parents, brother and extended family still live and work in the community. The new position will give Mr. Lawson the chance to serve the community that shaped him and helped prepare him for his career.
“I am honored to be selected as County Administrator, and look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of Sussex County,” Mr. Lawson said. “This is my home and where I want to settle down and raise my children. I want to see the County prosper while maintaining our low taxes and exceptional service. We are fortunate to have qualified County staff, and together with the Council’s guidance we will take Sussex County into the future.”
County Council made the appointment on the recommendation of the County Administrator Search Committee, which selected Mr. Lawson from a field of eight interviewed applicants. In all, two dozen applicants with varied backgrounds from across the country submitted resumes for the position following Mr. Baker’s retirement announcement in January.
As County Administrator, Mr. Lawson will manage a staff of nearly 500 County employees and direct the day-to-day operations of the local government. The County Administrator is appointed by County Council and is responsible for, among other duties, making recommendations to the County Council, preparing and submitting the annual budget, and carrying out the policies and laws set forth by the Council.
Mr. Lawson, who will start at $95,000 in his new post, will begin work with County government Aug. 10 as the administrator appointee, spending several weeks meeting with staff, becoming familiar with County procedures, and reviewing various ongoing projects and initiatives.
Meantime, retiring administrator Baker will help guide Mr. Lawson through the transition before stepping aside later this year to enjoy retirement and help his son with a financial business.
County Council President Michael H. Vincent said Council is confident that Mr. Lawson has the right mix of knowledge, skills, vision and love of Sussex County to be a success.
“The County Administrator is a critical position within County government, and you need the right personality in that position to juggle the multitude of daily demands and interests,” Council President Vincent said. “We believe Todd is that person. He will be a team leader who builds on the great staff we already have in the County, and we look forward to working with him.”