A nationwide search found the right person to serve as the new Waxahachie assistant city manager was right in its own backyard.

Albert Lawrence, who previously served as the assistant city manager in Red Oak, brought 15 years of experience with him to Waxahachie City Hall last week.

Lawrence worked in Red Oak the past four years. He noted Waxahachie is moving in a positive direction and the growth is a reflection of its leadership.

“There are a lot of projects that are going on, and the city is looking at a lot of things. That was one of the draws because I wanted to be involved in that,” Lawrence said. “Everyone that I have met here I have been very impressed with — the directors and the employees. They know what direction to go in, and they are plugging away towards it.”

As assistant city manager, some of Lawrence’s responsibilities will be representing the city at community events and serve as a representative of the city’s executive management team. He will also work as a mentor to other employees and manage other departments not directly reporting to the city manager.

Lawrence shared that his draw to public work over other careers was the ability to serve the community and to give back at the same time. He stated that he is working to learn how everything is connected and works together in the city at this time.

“One of the key things right now that I need to get down is the vision from the city council and from (city manager) Michael Scott. What are their goals, what is the pathway they want to take, and then make sure that I can maneuver and get into that lane to keep driving it forward,” Lawrence explained. “They have identified a lot of projects that need to get done, but it is my job to make sure they get done and provide that for the citizens.”

Lawrence added that Waxahachie has a strong sense of community, which reminds him of his hometown of Canton.

The search for a new assistant city manager generated 85-90 applicants from across the county and internationally. Scott stated Lawrence’s experience and personality are what made him stick out from the other candidates.

“Albert brings with him some great experience that is going to fit perfectly with where we are going. We really needed someone who has a proven track record in managing projects to help oversee someone,” Scott said. “We have a lot of projects coming online that we need that expertise. I think that Albert will do a fantastic job.”