Rutkowski eager to continue serving Keystone Heights’ needs

New city manager makes easy transition to replace retired Kornegay

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KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Lynn Rutkowski moved into a new office at the Keystone Heights Municipal Building two weeks ago, moving a few feet down the hall to the city manager’s office.

With a bigger office came added responsibilities. But Rutkowski is ready to put her own twist on plans to meet the needs of the city’s needs.

For now, it’s like “drinking out of a firehose,” she said.

“It wasn’t a big move, but there were eight years worth of projects in my old office,” Rutkowski said. “I’ve been here for eight years and I’ve seen a lot of different things happen. I’ve been involved in a lot of projects, but I’m very excited to make these projects my own – do it in Lynn’s way, Lynn’s style.”

Rutkowski started at the city’s code enforcement department. She became the Planning and Zoning clerk before being appointed city clerk in 2016.

The city council moved quickly to select her to replace Scott Kornegay following his retirement on May 29.

“Scott and I worked closely together on all of the projects,” she said. “It was a seamless transition. I’ve been very fortunate to work with Scott on these projects. I’m able to pick up where we left off.”

Together, Kornegay and Rutkowski accomplished a lot in their short 4½- year tenure, like securing land funding from the Florida Department of Transportation to repave State Road 21, improving sidewalks, street lights and landscaping; working with Clay Electric to move some of its utilities underground; creating a water summit to address the levels of lakes Brooklyn and Geneva that led to the $41 million Black Creek Water Resource Development Project; refurbish city hall; revitalized a lazy asset at Sunrise park; completed a trailhead for cyclists and walkers after buying land on through the State of Florida along the Palatka-Lake Butler Rails to Trails; upgraded security systems at town facilities; negotiated with North Florida TPO to build an Electric Vehicle Charging Station; and, worked to get $1 million from the state to replace concrete strain poles with high tech hurricane-ready mast arm signals at State Road 21 and State Road 100 and SR 100 at Commercial Circle.

Rutkowski’s newest project is to bring seamless Wi-Fi between State Roads 21 and 100 and Keystone Beach.

“That’s for those who are working from home will be able to come to downtown Keystone Heights and be able to do their work,” she said. “It’s a huge deal. Internet services are so lacking. They’re so few. I know. I used to live out in the county.”

While she’s familiar with the projects and responsibilities, Rutkowski said the difference is far more significant than moving a few feet down the hall.

“The challenges I face is that I’m in a different role,” she said.

With a bigger office.

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