Lynn Westbrook is the new director of Public Works, replacing Joe Miller, who resigned Wednesday.
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING AS DIRECTOR?
Westbrook will oversee the entire Public Works department which has over 750 employees and an annual budget of more than $70 million. With $1.5 billion worth of Better Jacksonville Plan road work and infrastructure, Westbrook will immediately be faced with many responsibilities.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT IN YOUR NEW JOB?
With road work in virtually every part of town, Westbrook will be responsible for assuring the work gets done on time, on budget and with as little disruption as possible. A West Point graduate, Westbrook will also assume more of an administrative role, which suits him fine. “I enjoy the administrative side of engineering rather than sitting down and designing.”
WHAT’S YOUR INTEREST IN PUBLIC WORKS?
“Having served in the military and being responsible for a large number of people, I have a warm spot in my heart for folks that labor hard every day, especially when it’s really hot out. I respect anybody that can do that.”
Westbrook spent 20 years in the Army in various capacities before ending up at Ft. Monroe, Va. where he retired as a lieutenant colonel. In Jacksonville he has served as chief of the Streets and Drainage Division within the same department for four years. In total, he 26 years of managing government organizations and programs.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE?
“I like Florida and I saw an announcement posted in the American Public Works Association newsletter [for the job of division chief]. The City made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
OTHER AFFILIATIONS OUTSIDE OF APWA?
The Society of American Military Engineers also claims him as a member.
The U.S. Academy at West Point is where Westbrook received his bachelor’s degree. He holds a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Florida.
WHO’S YOUR HERO?
“Mayor [John] Delaney. It took a lot for him to go out and sell the Better Jacksonville Plan. He was able to get that passed although he had a lot of naysayers. He clearly saw a vision of Jacksonville that fell right in with what I had as well. It ended up creating a lot of work for Public Works, but that makes the job more challenging.”
WHAT’S MOST CHALLENGING?
“Being able to mold our people into a cohesive team. ”
WHAT’S REWARDING ABOUT IT?
“We spend a lot of money taking care of a city the size of Jacksonville but we do good work and I’m very proud of that.”
Westbrook and his wife Nancy live in the Baymeadows area.
Gardening, hiking, watching the television show “E.R.” and breeding and showing Kerry blue terriers.
Volcano National Park in Hawaii.
—by Monica Chamness