It’s deja vu—all over again.
Delray Beach City Commissioners are back in the job market looking for yet another City Manager after dismissing Mark Lauzier last month after a little more than a year on the job.
The firing of Lauzier was stunning and came immediately after an internal auditor’s report alleged a variety of issues.
The fallout of the departure was also immediate with two assistant city managers and a management fellow brought on by Lauzier leaving as well.
Regardless of where you stand on whether the firing was justified, there is a larger issue at play—continuing instability at City Hall.
Lauzier is one of a series of city managers to have come and gone since long time manager David Harden departed in 2012.
There have also been a slew of assistant city managers, city attorneys, assistant city attorneys, department heads and other key employees who have come and gone in short order in Delray. It’s been dizzying. And disruptive.
Turnover is costly in more ways than one. You lose a lot of momentum when senior staff leaves.
Regardless, the latest departure provides an opportunity for the commission to hit reset and have a long needed discussion about organizational culture in Delray.
Rather than do yet another search with yet another head hunter, there is an opportunity to discuss and address why the city has struggled to attract and retain talent at the senior level.
Working for a city as special and promising as Delray Beach should be very desirable. Being the city manager of a dynamic community with a rich history and a promising future ought to be one of the most sought after jobs in America.
Right now, it’s not. And it hasn’t been for a few years now.
This next search is a chance to explore why. That will require an outward search for a new manager and an inner search too. What can Commissioners do make Delray the best place to work?
Hundreds of city employees deserve stable senior leadership and nearly 70,000 residents do too.
Progress accelerates in stable cultures. We’ve had it before and it created a whole lot of success and value. We can have it again.