ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — St. Lucie County is in the market for a new county administrator, as the current administrator, Howard Tipton, is planning to take a new job across the state.
On Monday, the Longboat Key Town Commission formally approved hiring Tipton to be its new town manager.
Longboat Key's outgoing town manager, Tom Harmer, said Tipton met all the search criteria set by commissioners.
"You wanted a seasoned manager, you wanted someone with coastal experience," Harmer said.
Tipton has spent the past seven years in St. Lucie County, previously holding a similar position in Brevard County.
"It’s a wonderful thing to come from an amazing organization where we’ve done a lot of good things, to an amazing organization looking forward to doing a lot of great things," Tipton said.
St. Lucie County Commission Chairman Sean Mitchell said Tipton has been instrumental in all the good things happening in the county.
"He is top notch. He’s had the smooth, calming effect on everybody and he’s done some marvelous things here," Mitchell said.
Beyond helping bring in new jobs, Mitchell said Tipton steered the county through some big events and difficult times.
"We’ve been through Irma and hurricanes. We’re still in hurricane season now. Between the pandemic and American Rescue Plan dollars, how do we allocate those dollars to get a better bang for our buck? He’s been a leading force on all this," Mitchell said.
The county commission has an informal meeting planned for Tuesday where the topic of a new administrator will be discussed. Mitchell brought up the possibility of a national search for a new leader.
Tipton will formally leave the county on Jan. 30.