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County Administrator Ruth A. Doyle Biography

Ruth DoyleI am the Administrator for St. Lawrence County Government overseeing a $296M Budget, 24 Departments, and 883 employees since April of 2015. I was raised in the North Country, a graduate of Lisbon Central School and then LeMoyne College in Syracuse. My inaugural four-year term concluded in 2019, and with unanimous support from the Board of Legislators, I was appointed to a second term until 2023. Last year, I was appointed unanimously to a third term to continue serving the employees and citizens of St. Lawrence County. Prior to appointment as Administrator, I served as the Assistant Administrator from 2008-2015 and prior to that, the Deputy Clerk to the Board of Legislators for five years (2003-2008).  In 2003, I was hired by St. Lawrence County after working in Healthcare Administration with Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg.

In each role I have held with St. Lawrence County Government, I have worked conscientiously to gain as much knowledge as I can about the foundation of the County, understand the purpose of what we do, and work with the Board of Legislators to ensure evolution over time. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented staff and been mentored well throughout my tenure. As Assistant Administrator, I took on a much larger role with the budget preparation process and provided accurate and timely information to the Board of Legislators. Over twelve (12) years ago, I modeled a quarterly financial reporting tool modeled after the annual report provided by the Treasurer's Office to better inform policymakers about the cost of the operations of the County. I have enjoyed the opportunity to grow my knowledge of county government and now having the ability to recommend changes to improve operations.

I am extremely fortunate to have found meaningful employment in a place where I have roots. The feeling of home & family, the quality of the people, and the scenic beautiful nature of the County are the main reasons that I was certain that I would return home. I am happy to be raising my children in the North Country where they are active in sports, school activities, and this year I am adjusting to my second year as a college mom. My oldest is attending university in St. Lawrence County and playing her favorite sport. My second oldest will be venturing out of state to continue learning his chosen trade, HVAC. My younger children are in high school and middle school, playing three sports and working hard in their academics.

As County Administrator, according to Local Law No. 1 of the Year 1990, my role and responsibilities include serving as Clerk to the Board of Legislators, Budget Officer, the Purchasing Agent, the County Auditor, and Supervisor of the Board Office, Mail Room & Print Shop, Purchasing Office, and Buildings & Grounds with general oversight over all departments in county government. One of the most important responsibilities I carry is the County's Budget Officer, preparing and managing more than a quarter of a billion dollar budget annually requires attention to detail and a significant commitment of time for maintenance. My approach is always to ensure that the County is more affordable to live in, while balancing the importance of providing services for people in need. I encourage and believe in a thorough and transparent budget process that is engaging for the public. It is of paramount importance to provide policy makers with the ability to be informed, prior to decision making in the County.

I was closely involved with the budget as Assistant Administrator and now as Administrator, I have recommended nine years (2016-2024) of reductions in the true value tax rate be applied to the real property in the County, one of the main sources of revenue for the municipality. With one exception, in 2020, the first year since 2016 that the true value tax rate remained flat. I believe that it needs to cost less for folks to own their homes in St. Lawrence County. For the 2024 Budget, the True Value Tax Rate (TVTR) is $7.15 per thousand of assessed valuation, a reduction of -$.45 and $-.42 reduction the year before. Two years ago, the TVTR was $8.02/thousand. The last time the True Value Tax Rate was this low was 1985. Municipalities are limited with revenue sources, while continuing to identify new ways to appreciate savings. I recognize the struggle to provide the necessary and locally preferred services and in turn, be one of the largest employers of the County. Meeting the unanswered needs in an impoverished county like St. Lawrence is always a challenge, particularly when you realize that one in three or more county citizens are receiving some type of public assistance.

In some ways, the initial goals that the Board of Legislators created when I began in this role have been achieved. These goals included nurturing the County back to fiscal health and maintaining that health for years to come with new tools. This has been achieved in part with the new internet sales tax collection, careful and intentional budget management, the creation and funding of reserves and an overall plan to improve operations. The importance of taking care of staff and the ever-evolving efforts to improve employee engagement and loyalty to the organization is woven into the way we look at how we provide services. Our common goal is to support our residents and visitors in a helpful manner. We hope next to conquer a new Mission and Vision for the County and improve customer service to ensure the people who pay us to be here are well taken care of, no matter their needs. I am honored to be the fourth Administrator in the history of St. Lawrence County.