By Ruby Gregg 

Tom Carroll, the city manager in Cambridge, Md., has accepted the job as Lexington’s city manager.  

Tom Carroll will be the next city manager of Lexington.

“He is terrific,” Cambridge Mayor Stephen Rideout said in an interview. “You all are getting a real gem.”  

Carroll said in an interview that he decided to leave Cambridge because he tried but failed to stop a project to develop 11 acres of the city’s waterfront.  

Cambridge is part of Dorchester County on the south bank of the Choptank River, near the Chesapeake Bay’s eastern shore. It is home to slightly more than 13,000 people.  

Carroll said he opposes the development because Cambridge Waterfront Development Inc., a nonprofit organization, will make the key decisions about planning and construction, not the city. 

“They’re making a whole series of mistakes, yet they’re plowing forward,” he said. “I’m seemingly unable to stop it but also not willing to abide it. I decided to resign and pursue other employment.”  

Carroll said he plans to ask Lexington officials to move up his start date to May 20 from June 1.  

He has worked in local government for 28 years. Carroll served as a city manager for 18 years in municipalities in Ohio. He’s spent the last two years in Cambridge.  

Carroll said he’s looking forward to working in Lexington. “The downtown is just a treasure,” he said. “Helping support and build on the many strengths that it has is something I’m excited about.”  

He will replace Jim Halasz, who will retire later this spring. Halasz has served as Lexington’s city manager for more than four years.  

Carroll said he’s eager to tackle Lexington’s aging infrastructure and its capital improvement plan. The city plans to spend over $6 million to renovate city hall and $12.3 million for water and sewer repairs on Jackson Avenue over the next few years. 

“There’s a lot of specific types of projects that are very attractive to me that I think I can help with,” he said. “I find them to be very challenging but rewarding at the same time.” 

Rideout said Carroll’s departure shocked him and Cambridge City Council members.  

“He was a hard worker,” the Cambridge mayor said. “He really helped us to move forward in a good way to make our government stronger.”  

Carroll said he had great relationships with people in Cambridge and that he and his wife had intended to stay in Maryland for the foreseeable future.  

“We bought a house and planned to stay here for the duration,” he said. “That was our plan.” 

Lexington began the search for a new city manager in August 2023 when Halasz announced his plan to retire. The city hired Baker Tilly, a global recruitment firm, to assist with the process.  

Last November, Lexington made an offer to a candidate who declined the job. The search stalled through the holiday season and picked up again in January, Mayor Frank Friedman said.  

“It was the first job I applied for in the new year,” Carroll said, “and it worked out.”  

He said he plans to spend the first several months on the job learning as much as he can about Lexington and its people.  

“When you start a new job in government, you spend a lot of time stepping into relationships that have been going on for a long time. You must figure out the other parties’ point of view and understand history,” he said. “Council and co-workers are my first priority.”  

Friedman said he thinks Carroll will do well as Lexington’s city manager. 

“With Tom’s experience, demeanor and abilities,” the mayor said, “I think we’ll have a great fit.” 

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