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City of Manhattan News

Posted on: November 29, 2023

Lynden Lawson named Interim Director of Public Works for City of Manhattan

Lynden Lawson

(MANHATTAN, KS – November 29, 2023) — Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr announced today that Lynden Lawson will serve as the City of Manhattan’s Interim Director of Public Works, starting Friday, December 1.

Lawson previously was the Public Works Deputy Director for the City of Joplin, Missouri, and has been serving as Interim Public Works Administrator for the City of Manhattan since September 25.

He will oversee the City’s Public Works Department, which provides services and facilities that are vital to the community’s health, safety, and welfare, such as streets and traffic control devices, storm drainage and flood protection systems, public buildings, and water and wastewater systems.

Along with Assistant Director/City Engineer Brian Johnson and Randy DeWitt, Assistant Director of Utilities, Lawson will evaluate the department’s current organizational structure and operational needs, making recommendations for staffing and equipment.

“It has been great having Lynden on board, assisting with our Public Works Department operations and administrative needs at a very busy time,” Fehr said. “His knowledge and experience in an Interim Director capacity will serve us well going forward.”

Lawson previously served the City of Joplin, Missouri, for more than 10 years in the Public Works Department after retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps with 30 years of service. In Joplin, he managed a $75 million budget and lead a team comprising 154 full-time employees.

Lawson holds a bachelor of science degree in management from University of Phoenix, graduating in 2004; a master of science degree in homeland security and safety engineering from National University, graduating in 2009; and a master of science degree in human resources development from Pittsburg State University, graduating in 2012.

He also is a member of the American Public Works Association (APWA), American Society for Training and Development (ATD), and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

“I am truly honored to be selected as the Interim Director of Public Works for the City of Manhattan,” Lawson said.

“I have the utmost respect for the people who live and work here and call Manhattan home. Manhattan reminds me a lot of Joplin and I am proud to serve this community, serve the employees I am working with, and help guide the Public Works Department through this transition period. Public service is an honor, and I am humbled by the faith the city manager has placed in me.”

Under the direction of the Deputy City Manager, the Director of Public Works is responsible for leading, planning, and managing all activities and operations of the department, its three divisions, and a nearly $50 million annual budget. Lawson will oversee a team of 135 full-time employees.

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