Meet Rehoboth Beach’s new city manager, Taylour Tedder

Taylour Tedder headshot
Taylour Tedder (Photo: Courtesy City of Rehoboth Beach)

By Joe Reberkenny, Washington Blade Courtesy of the NLGBTQ Media Association

After a six-month nationwide search, Rehoboth Beach has a new city manager who’s ready to have a “direct, positive impact on residents, businesses, and visitors in the city on a daily basis.”

Taylour Tedder, 35, started his term as Rehoboth’s City Manager on May 15 and sat down with the Washington Blade to discuss his goals in office, some concerns he has, and what he’s most excited about in Rehoboth.

“I’ve been here for a couple of weeks and they have been outstanding,” Tedder said. “I’ve met a lot of welcoming people.”

Before Tedder became the city manager in Rehoboth, he was a city manager in Boulder City, Nev. There he undertook strategic planning initiatives, enhanced community engagement, and was awarded the Triple Crown Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.

His first few days have centered around familiarizing himself with Rehoboth and figuring out what to do first. “I have spent the first couple weeks meeting with the key staff, touring the various departments and facilities,” he said. “I am looking for initial ways to improve processes and procedures to ensure that we’re serving the residents and visitors of Rehoboth Beach at the highest standard possible.”

Beyond his professional goals, Tedder, who has been married to his wife since 2017 and identifies as straight, considers himself an ally to the LGBTQ community.

“I definitely consider myself an ally. And I’m very, very happy to help in any way I can.”

One of the ways he plans to support Rehoboth’s LGBTQ community is by backing CAMP Rehoboth, whose mission is to “Create A More Positive environment that is inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities in Southern Delaware and beyond.”

“I really firmly believe that Rehoboth Beach is a very inclusive community and I’m looking forward to furthering that,” he said. “I’ve been really impressed. I didn’t know much about CAMP Rehoboth before coming here and it seems like a wonderful organization. I’m really looking forward to meeting all those folks and getting to know their priorities and vision.”

In addition to supporting the community, Tedder identified multiple areas he wants to change in the city government to make Rehoboth more efficient and citizen-serving. Among those proposed changes is implementing new technologies to make business with the city easier, diversifying revenues, finishing capital improvement projects, and his biggest focus — implementing strategic planning initiatives.

“The city does not have a specific strategic plan or mission or vision statements,” Tedder said when discussing his goals. “I would like to lead the city through a strategic planning process, and have actual, tangible deliverables that we as staff can carry out and accomplish so that we’re accomplishing the policy goals of the City Commission.”

One of the goals of the City Commission is to keep the Clear Space Theatre in Rehoboth amid ongoing speculation that it may move to neighboring Lewes.

“It’s a top priority to keep it in the city,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll be working on that in the future.”

He also touched on improving infrastructure projects in Rehoboth.

“There are a lot of improvements being done with the wastewater facility. But you know, road maintenance and equipment replacement will definitely be a top priority.”

When asked if there were plans to bring restrooms to Poodle Beach, the historically gay section of Rehoboth’s beach near the south end of the boardwalk, he said there were not. 

“I’m not aware of plans on the south end. We do have restrooms that the beach patrol facility is under complete reconstruction, Tedder said. “We do have portable restroom trailers out there but I’m not sure how close they are.”

In addition to policy goals, he also talked about his paycheck, which has drawn attention and criticism in the past few weeks.

Some residents of Rehoboth were taken aback when they found out Tedder would be paid more than the governor of Delaware. Tedder will receive a $250,000 annual salary, $50,000 for moving expenses, and a $750,000 forgivable housing loan. 

Tedder explained that his salary was determined through close evaluations of the city’s budget and his skill level. He also pointed out that there is no deficit in the city’s finances and the city is “not operating at a loss.”

“I really have been trying not to be distracted by the online public reaction, it’s been really important to focus on the job and utilize my skills and experience to effectively serve the community,” Tedder said. “It’s a high-cost area to live in and I really think I was just kind of the right person in the right place at the right time. What the Board of Commissioners was looking for really matched my experience and the city matched what my professional interests are. I am really, really excited.”

He continued, explaining that this sort of criticism can come up for any government official, but his experience in budgeting is what will prove he will “pay for himself.”

“I really like taking a look at all of the spending that we’re doing,” he said. “Sometimes there is software that you’re paying for that you don’t need. Sometimes there are ways to negotiate standardized contracts for goods and services where we can generate significant savings. I have done that in every city that I’ve worked for, and have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars and just savings on contracts.”

Tedder explained to the Blade that he got involved in city planning after graduating from college. 

“I started as an assistant to a city manager,” he said. “I thought that I wanted to go to law school. I was talking with various people and I was told to take a look at the Master of Public Administration degree. I had never really understood anything about city management so I took a look at it, and I was, like, ‘Wow! This is something I’d be really interested in.’”

He is excited to begin working for the Rehoboth community because of his passion for city management.

“My general thought in city government is that we are here to serve everyone equally. I truly am going to serve the city fulfilling all the duties as the city manager and I’m looking forward to increasing the communication with residents and business owners and visitors.”

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade via the National LGBTQ Media Association. The National LGBTQ Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here:

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