A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ready for succession as Earlywine retires, Boone Fiscal Court names Matthew Webster administrator

By Patricia A. Scheyer
NKyTribune reporter

The Boone County Fiscal Court approved the appointment of Assistant County Administrator Matthew Webster to succeed County Administrator Jeffrey Earlywine upon Earlywine’s retirement on July 31 of this year.

Commissioners were asked last week to approve the appointment by Judge Executive Gary Moore to move Webster into the County Administrator position effective August 1.

All three commissioners voted unanimously to approve the appointment.

“I am glad we have a succession plan,” said Commissioner Chet Hand

“He has the county’s heart,” said Commissioner Cathy Flaig.

Matthew Webster

Matthew Webster has been at Boone County for eight years, and it will be nine years by the time he assumes the role of County Administrator. Before that he was Vice President of Student Services at Thomas More College and the Dean of Students.

“I challenged Matthew to give me his vision on what the administration would look like under his leadership, and he has done that,” Moore said at the meeting. “I was very impressed. The organization chart looks substantially different, with more of a team approach.”

Webster expanded on his vision.

“I want to rebalance the leadership,” he said. “The goal is to allow each of us to work with the different departments.”

He said he has been fortunate to be working with Jeff Earlywine and Judge Moore, and he feels that the county is on a good pace, a high level that will support him to gradually take over the reins from Earlywine.

“We are trying to align the needs of the county with the talents of our people,” Webster said. “A case in point is our Public Works Director Rob Franxman. As an engineer he is well positioned to move into an executive role to oversee public infrastructure. We can leverage his talents and knowledge in that direction.”

Webster said he can see his position of Assistant County Administrator be split in two, and Franxman take over as Assistant County Administrator of Public Infrastructure, leaving the second Assistant to supervise other county departments.

He cited the countywide water main project, and the countywide high speed internet project as two projects that take up a majority of his time, and he hinted that Franxman could be put in charge of some of the tasks to make the two projects less labor intensive. Webster ventured that if he could take a look at the talents of different employees, he could put them in charge of a portion of any given project, or an entire project, that matches with what is more in line with their training.

“I want to emphasize that we wouldn’t be adding people, just moving them around,” Webster explained. “I like the idea of having people trained to do many things, so that there isn’t just one person in charge of one thing.”

In his years at Boone County, Webster is proud of his work at the Animal Shelter, and is looking forward to the opening of the new Animal Shelter in about two more months. He said he is proud that the community had a strong hand in designing the Animal Shelter.

He also pointed to the branding project he took on when he first came to Boone County. He said he enjoyed unifying the brand image, encouraging the logo, the graphics and designs to work together to become one solid image for the county.

The renovation of the historic Courthouse was one of his achievements, and he is happy to see weddings, baby showers, park events and many other events that now take place in the old building, giving it a community center atmosphere in downtown Burlington. He also oversaw the renovation and expansion of the Boone Links Golf Course.

The thing he derives the most satisfaction from is when he picks up the phone, and a citizen needs something, and by the time he puts the phone down, he has taken care of the problem.

“I want to continue the service delivery over the entire incorporated area,” he stated. “We have more suburban areas than rural for a county.”

This January, there was an effort to improve communication, and Webster is all about communication, and supports it right out of the gate, he said. He wants to tell the county’s story, to show how well the county and the government stacks up.

“I want to validate what we do well, and keep the people better informed over the next year or two,” Webster said. “I am proud of our county and what we do. I can’t wait to practice what I’ve learned.”

Webster graduated from LLoyd High School in Erlanger, and attended the University of Louisville, and then Louis D Brandeis Law School. He served as Community Relations Coordinator at Boone County before he took the Assistant County Administrator position in 2016.

“I am excited and proud to appoint Matthew H. Webster as county administrator upon the retirement of Jeffrey Earlywine,” said Judge Moore. “Matthew has been an instrumental part of our executive staff, has performed at a very high level, and is perfectly positioned to lead our strong team in achieving great things for the citizens of Boone County.”

Webster lives in Boone County with his wife, Linda, and his two teenage daughters, Charlotte and Julia.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve under Judge Moore’s leadership, and next to County Administrator Jeff Earlywine,” said Webster. “I could not be more excited to continue working with the
judge, County Commissioners, and the incredible team that we have in place as we strive to build on
past successes, and ensure a bright future for Boone County.”

Related Posts

Leave a Comment