Roth leaving town for county spot

After nearly five years as Ocean View’s Town Manager/Financial Director, Kathy Roth accepted a job with Sussex County and will vacate her town position the first week in October.
County officials hired Roth as Sussex’s first budget and cost manager this month. She will be part of a growing finance team under Susan Webb, the county’s former director of accounting, whom council appointed finance director Tuesday.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Roth said. “I’m going to miss some of the residents (of Ocean View). They’ve been very helpful.”

In Ocean View, Roth served as the head administrator and performed all of the duties of a finance director, handling all of the bids and financial statements, and compiling the annual budget in each of her four years.

Ocean View officials who worked closely with Roth in her time with the town were not happy to hear she was leaving.

“I personally really hate to see her go. She’s been a wonderful boss,” said Marie Thomas, Ocean View’s town clerk. “We will miss her.

“She’s going to be really missed by me,” said Mayor Gary Meredith. Meredith said the town is advertising for a new town manager but he expects it will go without one for at least two months after Roth’s departure. “She does a lot and she’s very knowledgeable. I think she’s done an excellent job.”

Roth, a Pennsylvania native, moved to the Ocean View area 22 years ago and worked as a certified public accountant for two local accounting firms for 12 years before entering municipal work.

In the late 1990s, Roth took a job as Bethany Beach’s finance director, a position she held for five years before accepting the Ocean View administrator position. Roth was a finalist for the county administrator position this year. County Council selected current County Finance Director Dave Baker for the spot in which Bob Stickels has served for the better part of two decades. Despite not being selected for the top spot, Roth’s background in finance, and especially in government work, made her an ideal choice for the county’s new position.

“The town is like a little mini-city. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a town, county or state. It’s government,” Webb said. She added that understanding the language that comes with such a governmental post is important and Roth won’t need much training on that end. “It’s perfect,” Webb said.

Meredith said that the town is currently advertising Roth’s position and has set an Oct. 22 application deadline. Town councilmen will read applications individually before collaborating for a list of finalists they will ultimately interview, he added. Meredith said there is no timeline yet to hire Roth’s replacement.