Tom Stevenson to retire from Salisbury government

Field Operations Director Tom Stevenson.

Field Operations Director Tom Stevenson has announced that he will retire shortly after the new year, bringing an end to his 32-year career with the city of Salisbury.

In his time with the city, he has served in numerous capacities, including five years as City Administrator.

“Tom will be sorely missed for so many reasons,” said City Administrator Julia Glanz.  “He is well-respected for his work ethic, beloved for his personality, and counted upon as a trusted adviser. The breadth and depth of his knowledge is truly remarkable.”

Stevenson began his career with the city in September 1988 as a Construction Foreman. When the city later needed a Building Inspector, his experience made him a good choice for the position.

In 2008, he was promoted to Director of the newly formed Department of Neighborhood Services and Code Compliance. It was a position he would occupy for only a brief period of time, as he would soon be called upon by Mayor Jim Ireton to serve as Acting City Administrator.

Stevenson oversaw the hiring of then Assistant City Administrator Glanz, and managed the crucial early stages of some of the city’s most important projects, including the Main Street Master Plan and Riverwalk Amphitheater.

In 2017, following Jake Day’s election as Mayor, the city implemented structural changes, leading to the creation of several new departments which had previously been centralized.

The Department of Field Operations would focus on parks, streets and sidewalks, trash and recycling, fleet maintenance, and other tasks related to physical infrastructure.

Stevenson was appointed Director of Field Operations, and has held the position ever since, seeing the city through multiple storm events, massive infrastructure projects, and a significant increase in events throughout the city, including the Salisbury Marathon and National Folk Festival.

“When I was first hired as Assistant City Administrator, Salisbury was near the beginning of its renaissance,” said Glanz. “The pace of everything kept accelerating, and the number of projects and events seemed to be expanding at an exponential rate. I was in awe of Tom’s ability to keep everything in focus.”

“Tom Stevenson knows Salisbury better than anyone I know,” said former Mayor Jim Ireton.  “His ability to serve elected officials and the public so well is what led him to become City Administrator. His work ethic and drive to change Salisbury for the better is an asset that will be sorely missing when he retires.

“He came to work every morning convinced he could find a way to get the will of city leaders done while maintaining the professional standing he had with members of the public,” said Ireton. “He was quick with a ‘Good job, Mayor,’ or, if things weren’t going according to plan, ‘Well that didn’t work, but I think we can try this.’  I am indebted to him as a city colleague and as a friend, and Salisbury is indebted to him for the years of dedicated service he rendered.”

Day, currently on deployment with the U.S. Army National Guard in Djibouti, Africa, also lauded Stevenson.

“There will be a void in our family when I come home,” said Day. “Tom is a presence that has only made our city an ever-better place. Salisbury is better cared for, better organized, more efficient, more united and more focused than we would be without Tom’s leadership. I don’t yet know how I’ll process the retirement of my friend, but I support him and I know it will give him time to do far more important things with his family. However, the man who was Director of multiple departments, City Administrator, mentor, sounding board, calming influence, go-getter and Chief Getting-Things-Done Officer over the 11 years that I have been involved in our government, will be deeply, immeasurably missed.”

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