A few weeks ago, when Scott Lazenby told me he had applied to be the city manager in Lake Oswego, I was sure he would be successful. After 21 years, we would be losing him as our city manager. Lake Oswego made the right choice, and Scott Lazenby soon will leave us and move on to new challenges.

I have been reflecting on his time here and what an amazing impact he has had on our city and my life. During my time as the mayor of Sandy, I worked closely with Scott and relied on his help and guidance to navigate my way through the process. He encouraged me to dream big for our city and then worked to make those dreams a reality.Malone

He started the transformation of Sandy with a complete overhaul of our budgeting system. He instituted our two-year budget program that eliminated the old “use it or lose it” way of doing business and replaced it with a goal-driven system that allowed the city to thrive and grow. During hard times, when other cities had to make cuts and eliminate programs, Sandy experienced growth and success due in large part to the firm financial footing Scott put in place more than 20 years ago.

Scott helped guide us through the start of Sandy Area Metro, our transit system. Under his leadership, we have also added our own Internet provider, SandyNet. However, all of the changes and improvements he has helped to accomplish are far-too-many to list here.

Look around Sandy and you will see the improvements everywhere, from the new police building on the east end to the City Operations Center on the west end to the beautiful new library in the middle. There are many other programs and processes the public doesn’t see that have had a major impact on our lives. We are a city transformed and revitalized under his leadership.

Scott’s style of management is to empower staff to be the best they can be and to take initiative in achieving the goals of the city. I know they will miss him.

Taking over the helm at city hall will be Seth Atkinson and, even though he has big shoes to fill, I know he is ready for the job. He has learned from Scott by watching and working with him, and now he is prepared to make his mark on Sandy.

These days it is easy to get discouraged about government when you read the headlines. We don’t make those kinds of headlines here, and Scott is a big part of the reason we don’t.

His ethics and respectful behavior with staff, elected officials and the public are contagious. It may not be headline-worthy behavior, but we would all be better off if more folks were like him.

I am very grateful that Scott, and his wife, Sandy, chose to come here 21 years ago.

In making Sandy their home, they have helped make us a better community. I look forward to following Scott’s continued success as he heads to Lake Oswego. They are very lucky to be getting him and his many talents.

Linda Malone is a former longtime mayor of Sandy.

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