Former Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing, who resigned from that top county government seat in December, has found a new job in a very nice place.
Lawing has been selected as the new city manager of Fort Myers, Florida.
Lawing is replacing outgoing City Manager Saeed Kazemi, who stepped down at the end of April after coming under some criticism from the city’s mayor and others.
Lawing, who was selected by a Republican-majority Guilford County Board of Commissioners in 2013 to manage Guilford County government, has some solid experience running a coastal community. Before he came to Guilford County, Lawing was the long-time county manager of Brunswick County which includes Oak Island, Holden Beach and Sunset Beach to name a few of the coastal communities.
In fact, when the Rhino Times broke the story about Lawing being selected as Guilford County’s manager eight years ago, the publication described him as a “beachcomber” in the headline – and a lot of people wondered privately why someone would choose to run landlocked Guilford County as opposed to the coastal and copacetic Brunswick County.
Fort Myers, the county seat of Lee County in Florida, has a population of about 90,000. Guilford County has a population of over 500,000. However, Lee County on Florida’s west coast – with Fort Myers and Sanibel Island as draws – gets about 5 million tourists, vacationers and other visitors every year. The spot is particularly popular with Canadians.
In a television interview on local Fox4 News in Fort Myers, Lawing said his first order of business would be building relationships with city officials and then branching out and establishing relationships with Lee County officials.
Some final contract details are still being worked out and, until Lawing officially takes over the seat, Fort Myer’s Legal Administrator Phyllis Calloway will serve as the city’s interim city manager.