Q&A: Harrington City Manager Terry Tieman

Name: Teresa Tieman TJ Terry - revised 1

Title: Harrington City Manager

Years in Harrington: 4 years

Years of experience: 27 years in municipal government

Tell us about your job:

“I oversee the basic day-to-day operations of the city including public works, city hall, the library and parks and recreations. The city charter gives me certain responsibilities to ensure work efficiency and revenue recovery.

You work until the job is done. Which, it’s never done. Very rarely is your desk ever clean. The phone even rings at home. But it’s a small town, so we all wear many, many hats. It stays interesting that way. There’s a lot of moving parts around here. We have to make sure the water stays running and doors open on time.”

What projects are currently in the works in Harrington?

“We just finished the comprehensive rezone to expand our downtown area. Residents can look forward to that expansion and working towards revitalizing our downtown. We’ll have more community policing and I would like to think that we’d like to expand our social media presence again because communication is important. Residents can also look forward to more news about the library project and infrastructure improvement around town.”

What is something unique you’ve seen as city manager?

”One of the most unique things about Harrington is that it’s a really close knit community. The people here will really step up to help others in need. It’s a very neighborly and congenial community. I’ve always felt very welcome.

Delaware’s smallness makes it truly unique. You see really dedicated people trying to make Delaware all it can be. That, above all, makes it a really unique state. That’s why Delaware is a great place to live I think.”

How is Harrington different than other municipalities?

”The people on this council are true. They may have differences, or different ways to get there, but the commonality is that they all want the best for their community. They’re the front lines, local councils. Both Dover and Harrington councils were accessible to their community.”

What would you like to see for Harrington?

“I would like to see growth: economic growth. I don’t want to see the character change in Harrington. We like the neighborly, small community feel. When you walk around town, you can just feel it.”

Tell us about accolades and other positions you hold?

“I was named the City Manager of the Year by the Delaware League of Local Governments. While working for Dover, I earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for over 20 years through the Government Officers Finance Association. At that point, we had won that more than any other municipality in Delaware. I am also the president of the City Manager’s Association of Delaware.”

What would you like residents to know most?

“Our doors are always open at city hall. They can come in any time they want and talk to me as long as I’m not in a meeting. I think citizens need to know that we’re approachable and will work with them.”

Editor’s Note: Harrington City Manager Terry Tieman most recently earned the title of City Manager of the Year by the Delaware League of Local Governments during its annual conference held at the Duncan Center in Dover on Thursday, Sept. 24.

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