Lawrence has a bachelor of science degree in architecture from Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo, and a law degree from California Western School of Law. He worked in the legal field as a consultant for several years. In 1998 he went to work for the city of Guadalupe, Calif. (population 8,000) where he stayed for two years. After that he became city manager for Edgewood, Wash. for 10 years and in 2008 he became city manager for Ontario.
Lawrence has been very active in Ontario and very supportive of the community. As the city council checked references and made random calls to others regarding Lawrence, they learned he works very well with staff and is very well liked.
“There was nothing but accolades about Henry,” said City Administrator Dave Hussell, who is retiring the end of March.
In an interview with the Independent, Lawrence said he had contemplated going to a larger city where he would have made $30,000 more a year; but, a visit to Eagle Point changed his mind.
Lawrence said the decision was about quality of life.
He said he was very pleased to see how the city council works together and to see there is community togetherness.
Hussell and Business Manager Melissa Owen took Lawrence and his wife on a tour of the community as part of the interview process. After seeing the Eagle Point Golf Course, Harnish Visitors Center, Centennial Plaza and the new schools, he said “I was so impressed with the quality of the projects.”
Lawrence said Eagle Point Golf Club and Arthur’s Restaurant are top quality and very, very impressive.
He said Harnish Visitors Center was quite an accomplishment. He noted the cooperative process involved for the city staff to obtain the grant. Lawrence found the location exceptionally beautiful with the park area along the banks of Little Butte Creek.
Schools are one of the key factors when people consider relocating, said Lawrence as he noted Eagle Rock Elementary, Eagle Point Middle School and Hillside Elementary, which will be opening very soon. “Your schools are beautiful.”
Lawrence said what really impressed him was the warmth he received at every turn when he and his wife were in the community. The two of them stood back watching the time capsule event. He said he thought every councilor, along with former Mayor Leon Sherman went up to him and his wife and made them right at home.
“He is extremely personable, a man of character with a background that can compliment Eagle Point and the challenges we have ahead of us,” said Mayor Bob Russell.
Lawrence is expected to be in Eagle Point to spend the last week with Hussell, before he retires Mar. 31.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent