The Washington City Council named longtime city employee Darren Lamb as the new city administrator.
Lamb, who was appointed to the new position Wednesday night, has been serving as the city’s economic development director for seven years.
The council unanimously approved a resolution appointing Lamb during a special meeting.
“I’m honored,” Lamb told The Missourian. “I feel blessed to have a lot of support from the people of this community ---— I don’t take that for granted.
“This is humbling,” he added.
Lamb also thanked the selection committee for its hard work and dedication to the community, as well as his family and those who encouraged him to apply for the position.
A primary goal is the “continuation of providing efficient, seamless delivery of services to our community,” he said. “They expect nothing less.”
First 30 Days
In his first month as city administrator, Lamb said he will work with department heads and staff to determine their long-term needs.
Lamb said he also plans to develop an updated organizational chart for city hall during his first month, and begin discussing capital improvement projects as the city prepares to seek a renewal of the half-cent sales tax.
Lamb noted he will continue to seek better communication methods to reach the community, as well as internally among city staff.
“Communication, we all know how important it is and we need to continue to find new ways to get the message out to our citizens — this goes beyond public hearings and meetings,” he said. “We also need to focus internally, so that all levels of city staff are aware of our programs and projects and we can work in unison.”
Lamb added that team building also is on his immediate agenda.
“We have some of the brightest professional staff and we work in teams to resolve issues, tackle projects and provide the ongoing services our community has come to expect from us,” he commented. “This also includes working with external organizations such as the Chamber, Downtown Washington, service organizations and other government entities.”
Lamb replaces Jim Briggs, who retired in April after 40 years with the city. Briggs was city administrator for 32 years.
“Kudos to Jim,” Lamb said, “The city has been with that continuity.”
The council approved a salary for Lamb of $99,750.
Lamb was the city of Washington economic development director from 2010-2017. Prior to that he was the city’s director of planning and engineering. He took that position in 2001.
From 1999 to 2001, Lamb was the planning and zoning director for Franklin County. From 1998 to 1999 he was the Washington city planner. He also was the Franklin County planner from 1994 through 1997.
Lamb graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He earned a certificate from the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2001.
According to Mayor Sandy Lucy, there were eight candidates who were interviewed for the city administrator position.
Many of them were from this region, she added.
“This was an important decision for the future of the city,” Lucy said. “We established over the past 18 months ago that we do interviews for open city positions — we took it very seriously. The committee was committed to making the right decision.”
She stated that Lamb is an excellent communicator.
“I think Darren brings a lot of good qualities to the table,” Lucy said. “He is open and honest.
“He has a history with the city,” she added. “He has been with the city a number of years in a number of different roles. He still has a lot more to learn about the city, including the different departments he’s not been a part of.
Lucy further added that Lamb has a “broad vision,” for Washington.
“He’s an excellent choice for this position,” she said. “I think our citizens are happy with our decision.
“We’re ready to take the city to the next level. I think Darren is the best candidate to take us there,” Lucy said.
“You can always kick it up a notch and raise the bar. I am confident Darren is able to do that.”
Lucy noted that several members of the city staff attended Wednesday’s meeting to learn who was chosen for the position.
“I thought it was interesting how much of the staff was there and how engaged they were,” she says. “It really shows what a wonderful staff we have in the city and how engaged they are, and want to be part of the team.”