Community leader and Army veteran is Rehoboth’s next city manager

Nov 02, 2022

Bethel Park (Pennsylvania) municipal manager and retired U.S. Army officer Laurence Christian is the City of Rehoboth Beach’s new city manager. After a six-month nationwide search, the Board of Commissioners enthusiastically voted to appoint Christian to the leadership position during a special meeting this morning.

Laurence Christian

Following a 23-year career in the U.S. Army, Christian has led the municipality of Bethel Park, a community of 33,000 about 10 miles south of Pittsburgh, for the past three years. Christian is expected to begin his new role in Rehoboth Beach January 3.
“Laurence certainly distinguished himself among the candidates we considered,” says Mayor Stan Mills, “and we’re excited about the new ideas he will bring with him. He joins the city at a pivotal time as we are awaiting certification and implementation of our comprehensive development plan, finalizing designs for a new beach patrol/public restroom building as well as streetscaping of Wilmington and Baltimore avenues, and, of course, we’ll soon be developing next year’s budget and capital improvement plan. We’re confident that Laurence’s previous professional experiences and commitment to community engagement will allow him to integrate smoothly into his new role as Rehoboth Beach’s city manager. He has our full support and confidence.”
“I am both humbled and grateful for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to working with our board of commissioners, staff, and residents,” Christian says. “Rehoboth Beach is a gem, both as a charming summer getaway destination and a year-round, inclusive place to call home. It was amazing to listen to the commissioners’ vision for moving the community forward, and I’m excited to engage with residents and collaborate with staff to refine and implement that vision.”
During his time in the Army, Christian had multiple deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan and most recently served as Infantry Brigade deputy commander/chief of staff at Fort Benning, Georgia. Over the course of his military career, he held a variety of leadership roles in organizations ranging from 30 to 1,700 personnel. As senior leader of operations, personnel, training, and logistics at Fort Benning, he helped manage a 730-person organization in direct support of national strategic objectives.
He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 2019 and became one of only 14 selected to participate in the International City/County Management Association’s Veterans Local Government Management Fellowship cohort program designed to prepare veterans for local government leadership roles. Through the program, he served as an intern/military fellow with the city manager’s office in Columbus, Georgia.
In Bethel Park, Christian oversees a staff of 108 full- and part-time employees as well as a $32 million annual budget. He created the information technology and human resources departments in Bethel Park and established a cross-divisional communications team to address resident engagement and communication. He also established the first-ever council vision statement and corresponding municipal mission statement, values, and guiding principles, which are resident focused, business friendly, and inclusive.
Christian has a bachelor’s degree in history from Campbell University and a master’s degree in general administration from Central Michigan University. He also attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He holds local government certification from the International City/County Management Association. His annual salary in Rehoboth Beach will be $160,000.
The city manager position became available after Sharon Lynn, who served as Rehoboth’s city manager for eight years, resigned in April. More than 70 individuals applied for the position.
Christian will be moving to Delaware with his wife, Anne Marie, and their three children ages 10, 8, and 6.

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