Byron Brooks, longtime right-hand to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer as the city’s chief administrative officer, is moving over to the same job at the Orange County administration under incoming-Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Dyer announced.
Brooks has been the city’s chief administrative officer since 2005 and once served as the executive director of the city’s LYNX bus service, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority,
Dyer announced the change in a memo to city staff before Demings has announced anything. In fact, Demings, who still is serving as Orange County Sheriff until the transition occurs on Tuesday, has not announced any of his top staff picks for the mayor’s office or Orange County administration, though he will be sworn in as the county’s fifth mayor next Tuesday.
“Dear City Family,” Dyer wrote in a memo to city staff, “As we end 2018 and enter a new year, 2019 will bring a change in leadership here at the city. Yesterday, Byron Brooks, our Chief Administrative Officer, notified me he has accepted an offer to become the County Administrator with Orange County. Byron’s last official day with the city of Orlando will be January 4, 2019.”
In that county role, Brooks would be succeeding Ajit Lalchandani, who has been Orange County administrator for 20 years, but who decided earlier this year he would retire in January regardless of who won this year’s Orange County mayoral election. Lalchandani had put in to retire at the end of January, so he’ll be available to help with transition.
Lalchandani has been the county’s chief administrative officer, overseeing day to day operations, through the tenures of three mayors: Mel Martinez, Rich Crotty, and Teresa Jacobs, who left office two weeks ago to become chair of the Orange County School Board. Before that he’d spent another 13 years as an engineer in Orange County government, including as director of public works under Martinez’s predecessor, Linda Chapin.
Brooks would be the first confirmed change in leadership at Orange County under Demings transition. Demings, the Orange County Sheriff until he takes off his stars and gets sworn in as mayor next Tuesday, has not announced yet who will serve as his chief of staff, and he has numerous department heads positions to fill.
Another appointment in the works: Demings’ public information officer at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Jeff Williamson, is in line to become Demings’ communications director at Orange County. Williamson’s appointment is on the consent agenda for the Orange County Commission’s meeting next Tuesday.
Brooks has more than twenty-eight years of professional experience in the public sector, the vast majority in highly responsible senior level administrative positions. Dyer appointed him as chief administrative officer of the city of Orlando in December 2005.
His professional experience also includes serving as director of the Families, Parks and Recreation Department of the city of Orlando, and executive director of the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority. He also worked with the Orange County for more than 14 years.