County hires new economic development director


By Dustin Ensinger - densinger@aimmedianetwork.com



After a months-long search, Delaware County has a new economic development director.

Delaware County commissioners on Thursday voted unanimously to hire Robert Lamb to fill the role that has been vacant for nearly a year.

“He’ll be a great asset in bringing new jobs to the county,” said Commissioner Barb Lewis.

Lamb currently serves as community and economic development manager in Upper Arlington. Before that, he was the economic development administrator for the city of Glendale, Arizona, and a special projects planner in the city for a short time.

He has a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and master’s degree for urban planning and development from Cleveland State University.

“He comes highly recommended to us,” said Tim Hansley, the county’s administrator.

Lamb bested fellow candidate Raymond A. Hagerman for the position. Hagerman, who has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Tennessee, is the CEO at Four Corners Economic Development in Farmington, New Mexico. He previously served as vice president of investments and entrepreneurial signature program director at the Dayton Development Coalition; president of Nextedge Development Corp. in Springfield, Ohio; and director of finance at the Turner Foundation in Springfield.

“I’m incredibly excited,” Lamb said. “Delaware County is a great community and I’m glad to be able to join it.”

Both candidates were interviewed by a panel of county business leaders and Lamb received the endorsement of the group.

During his tenure in Upper Arlington, Lamb helped finalize the mixed-use project on Lane Avenue with a 109-room hotel, 108 residential units, a 300-space parking garage and 26,000 square feet of commercial space; created and implemented a new redevelopment incentive policy that has resulted in four commercial building rehabilitation projects in two years; and successfully retained a major employer’s headquarters within the city.

Lamb said that Delaware County will provide a new challenge and his goal is to “diversify the economic base” and bring jobs and opportunity to the area in the process.

He begins his employment with the county on Aug. 24. He will make $110,000 annually.

“I’m very excited about him joining us and I look forward to that,” said Commissioner Gary Merrell.

The county fired its previous economic development director, Gus Comstock, last September.

Comstock was notified of his termination Sept. 2 through a letter sent to him by county Administrator Tim Hansley. He had been on “an indefinite doctor-approved medical leave” since at least June 20, 2014. County officials have declined to say why Comstock was fired.

Comstock has since taken a position with Marion CAN DO!, a non-profit economic development agency in that Ohio city.

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By Dustin Ensinger

densinger@aimmedianetwork.com

Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.

Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.