A new year means new beginnings, and Rehoboth Beach will be starting 2023 with a new city manager. Laurence Christian took over the reins Dec. 30.
Christian is replacing Sharon Lynn, who left the city in May after being hired in 2013. The city hired a consultant to navigate the months-long search process. In November, commissioners announced Christian, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, was their selection to fill the position. Christian had been municipal manager in Bethel Park, Pa., since 2019.
A few hours into the new position, Christian said he’s looking forward to the opportunity, and while there’s a lot to digest in the coming weeks and months, one of the first things he’s going to do is find a running route around the city. He said he would go on runs at lunch during his time in Bethel Park because it was a good way to get his eyes on the different parts of town.
“That way, when a constituent comes up to me and says they live on the worst street in town, I can say, ‘Well, actually…,’” said Christian.
Christian was slated to begin working for the city after the first of the year. However, he started Dec. 30 because the city’s employee policy says employees don’t get benefits until the first of the following month. Commissioners approved the start date change during a meeting Dec. 16.
Christian’s first public meeting will be a commissioner workshop at 9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 9. By coincidence, the city has no public meetings scheduled his first full week on the job, but Assistant City Manager Evan Miller, who served as interim city manager since May, has prepared a full week of meetings and information gathering.
Christian said he plans to find a place to live closer to Rehoboth, but he is currently living in Fenwick Island with his father-in-law. His wife and three elementary-aged children stayed in Pennsylvania to finish out the school year.