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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. In 2003, I began working for St. Lawrence County after working in Healthcare Administration with Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg. I was brought up in the North Country, a graduate of Lisbon Central School and then LeMoyne College in Syracuse. My inaugural 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 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 each role I have held with St. Lawrence County Government, I have worked conscientiously to gain knowledge 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 be 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 ten (10) years ago, I started the quarterly financial reporting update to better inform policymakers about the cost of the Programs offered by the County. I really enjoyed growing my knowledge of county government and have 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. We work hard to make our dreams a reality and with my husband of twenty-one years, David, raising our children; two girls and two boys while enjoying a healthy country lifestyle with 3 dogs, 2 cats, a turtle, a fish, and a leopard gecko. Our children 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 is a senior this year, looking out of state for college. 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 responsibilities include Budget Officer, the Purchasing Agent, the Clerk to the Board of Legislators, the County Auditor, and Supervisor of the Board Office, Mail Room & Print Shop, Purchasing Office, and Buildings & Grounds. One of the most important responsibilities is Budget Officer, preparing and managing an almost $300M Budget annually requires consistent maintenance. I am always working to ensure the County is more affordable to live in, while balancing the importance of providing services for people in need. I believe in a thorough and transparent budget process that is engaging for the public. It is critical to provide lawmakers 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. It has not been this low since 1986. Municipalities are limited with revenue sources, we work to identify new ways to appreciate savings and I recognize the struggle to provide the necessary and locally preferred services and in turn, be one of the largest employers of the County. The unanswered needs in an impoverished county like St. Lawrence are constant, particularly when you realize that one in three or more county citizens are receiving some type of public assistance.

In many ways, the initial goals that I set coming into this role have been achieved. These included nurturing the County back to fiscal health and maintaining that health for years to come with reserves. This has been achieved in part with the new internet sales tax collection, careful 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.