She doesn’t have her own nameplate or even a city email, but new Rehoboth Beach City Manager Sharon Lynn is wading into the job of running the city.
Lynn began her tenure as city manager Jan. 6, becoming only the second person to occupy the seat in Sam Cooper’s 24 years as mayor. So far, she said, she has spent her time getting to know her department heads and learning about the community.
“The hardest part for me is getting established and organized, because I’m a very organized person. I need to know where everyone is,” she said. “My goal is to learn what they do and learn what they need.”
Lynn said Rehoboth differs from her prior job as town manager of Provincetown, Mass., in that she doesn’t have to fix a host of problems, but will instead maintain and build on the city's strengths.
Lynn said she is eager to immerse herself in the proposed new city hall complex, which city officials have been methodically planning for the last two years. A $15 million upgrade putting all major city departments on one campus is proposed, although architects are still refining the concept.
Lynn said she has experience with similar projects: In West Goshen Township, Pa., she said the town expanded its 13,000-square-foot facility, built in the 1960s as is Rehoboth’s city hall, a project that was completed in nine months, under budget. In Provincetown, Lynn said, the town renovated a historic town hall complex, a process that took two years.
“That stuff excites me,” she said. “The buildings look pretty well-maintained for what they can do, but you have your major workforce there 24 hours a day. You need to provide that space for them.”
A former police officer and town manager, Lynn said she learned from each of her former professions. As a police officer, Lynn said she learned how to communicate with people; as town manager, she learned the ins and outs of running the day-to-day operations of a municipality: water, wastewater and traffic issues. Coming from a resort community, Lynn said, she expects to hear many of the same issues, especially parking.
“A community like Rehoboth is already established, and I hope to get out and meet people and meet the business community,” she said. “It’s a good time for me to start, in the slower season I’ll call it, to get my feet wet.”