At the County Commission meeting on Nov. 12 we recognized four employees who have worked for the county for 30 years and a pair who have logged 20 years.

That’s 160 combined years of service from just six employees. Aside from my appreciation for these colleagues, the milestones highlight the importance of workforce development as longtime employees approach retirement. With my retirement scheduled for March 2020, I’m even more attuned to how vital it is to manage staff turnover and develop leaders to fill vacancies.

I’m proud to say we have had a strong track record to guide future management decisions. In the past two years, we have filled 11 senior management positions, including a deputy county administrator, two assistant administrators and five department directors.

The replacements were a mix of internal promotions and outside hires and I am confident we have strengthened the administration team along the way.

As one commissioner noted during recent discussion about Deputy County Administrator Hector Flores replacing me upon my retirement, county taxpayers have invested a lot of time and money in developing senior leaders across our organization.

In addition to attending industry conferences and seminars to network with their peers and learn about best practices and shares challenges, senior leaders are also tasked with helping to mentor younger employees participating in leadership development programs. Job-shadowing, participation on cross-departmental teams and annual appraisals offer additional opportunities for building the skills, contacts and experience needed to move up in the organization.

To manage such a large and diverse workforce, one of my policies is to allow employees to pursue jobs in any department. The short-term impact to one department losing a valued employee is negated by the long-term value of that employee having experience in multiple departments and positions.

He or she also serves as an example to every employee that career advancement is possible. I personally benefitted from prior administrators enacting the same policy. In my two decades with the county, I have held four positions.

What all this means to Charlotte County residents and stakeholders is that the people who work for them are part of a team with a shared mission to deliver exceptional service. It’s my pleasure to work alongside them.

Ray Sandrock is the Charlotte County administrator. Readers may reach him at


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