Page County names new administrator

Page News and Courier

The new Page County Administrator has a passion for government service.
Beginning in 1984 as a police officer in his home state of Connecticut, then moving on to various government management jobs in Florida, Mark Lauzier had already gained management experience as City Manager of Parkland, Fla., before trying his hand as a consultant in 2007 and then relocating to Loudoun County in 2010 as that county’s Budget Officer.
“I pursued the consulting opportunity for two reasons, both of which proved to be unfulfilling,” Lauzier said in an e-mail response to questions from the Page News and Courier. The first reason was “to improve my income,” he explained, while the second “was to help organizations with their problems by assisting them in dealing with the challenges of the recession which was starting to take hold.”
Lauzer said he learned two important lessons from that experience – that a consultant “cannot directly help an organization” and “consultants don’t ‘do.’ They are great at analyzing and advising, but after that they move on.”
After three years of consulting, Lauzer decided that “serving the public is an honor I enjoyed” and that he “desired to use my analytical skills where I could work closely with people who are passionate about their community (yes, even the negative crowd if there is one in Page County), while also being a part of the community.”
Of his previous positions, Lauzier believes he accomplished the most as the City Manager of Parkland, Fla., where he said he developed a strategic vision, a capital improvement program and a quarterly reporting and performance monitoring system that helped assure sound fiscal management while achieving the goals and objectives of the city commissioners.
“My belief is government should be proactive rather than reactive,” Lauzier said. “This involves an element of planning, establishing realistic and achievable goals to maintain momentum, and having a general outline of how to get there.”
But Lauzier said it would be “premature” for him, at this stage, to predict how those elements can best be used in Page County until he has a better understanding of the county’s basic needs and resources.
“I will work with the board, be sure I understand their vision, and see what past efforts have been undertaken,” Lauzier pledged, adding that he would “then be able to provide some sensible advice given the local situation and my experiences.”
Lauzier added that a common feature of governments that have been successful in achieving their vision is “to have a board that works collectively and with the entire community's needs as an over-arching principle. Finding the balance between community, constituents, neighborhoods, and priorities is always challenging wherever you are.”
Upon announcing Lauzier’s appointment last Wednesday in a special meeting called specifically for that purpose, Board of Supervisors Chairman Johnny Woodward noted that it “took the county 10 months and two advertisement periods” to find a new county administrator, “but the wait was worth it. We got the right man for the job.”
Vice Chairman Darrell Short added that the supervisors “look forward to working with Mark to address the many challenges that face local governments today. His education, experience and skill sets match very well with the needs of [Page] County.”
Lauzier was one of more than 40 applicants who responded to the county’s advertisement in January of a second search for a new administrator after a previous search that began in September 2012 proved unsuccessful.
He will begin his new duties on Monday, July 8.

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