Lester Baird To Manage Two Agencies
LABELLE, FL. -- Former County Manager Lester Baird has been hired by the Barron Water Control District as its new General Manager. As part of the job, Baird will also manage the Port LaBelle Community Development District, sharing duties for each. Baird will be working at Barron's district office shared with the CDD offices on Dellwood Terrace in Port LaBelle.
The Port LaBelle CDD last year paid $50,000 a year to Barron Water Control District for the use of the shared manager. The CDD is expected to move this year's contribution down to $38,000. Baird's salary this year paid by Barron Water Control District for the shared two jobs is reportedly about $85,000 plus substantial benefits.
The two governmental agencies have wide ranging duties over vast land areas from the eastern city of LaBelle limits to mid-Hendry county including all of Port LaBelle in Hendry and Glades county. The Port LaBelle CDD takes care of all road maintenance of the 125 miles of private roads and thousands of acres of grass cutting operations throughout the mostly vacant lands of 32,000 acres of Port LaBelle. The Port LaBelle CDD has jurisdiction of all Port LaBelle subdivision units in Hendry and Glades county except units 4 and 5 which have their own property owners associations.
The Barron Water Control District takes care of maintenance of all the canals and water control structures in the district, sharing some jobs and equipment with Port LaBelle CDD.
Since leaving the Hendry County Manager's office Baird had applied for several city manager jobs including those for the cities of Brooksville, Key West, and Treasure Island, all in Florida. This new job should be a good fit for both Baird and the Barron and Port LaBelle districts, as his years of local governmental experience here should make for a quick transition to his new duties.
Baird's first job in government was as a Building Inspector Trainee for the City of St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Baird earned his undergraduate degree in Business from Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey and a Masters of Public Administration graduate degree from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. Mr. Baird resides with his wife, Patti, in LaBelle, Florida and has three grown sons and a stepson that reside in the West Palm Beach, Florida, St. Louis, Missouri, and Washington, DC areas.
Retiring manager Ralph Nicholson spent about 20 years with Barron Water Control District and will be on hand for the final budget completion duties this month, after which Baird will move into the job.
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