A familiar figure at Selbyville Town Hall is stepping away, as town administrator Robert “Bob” Dickerson announced this week that he will retire this summer. Turning 65 years old this month, Dickerson has served as administrator in the town since 2008.
Although the official end date for his tenure is mid-July, he may use his vacation days to depart early.
“I understand five to eight years is common length” for a town manager, although they do move around to other towns, he said. “There just comes a time when you have to make a decision.”
Dickerson said he plans to concentrate on his family farm in Williamsville.
“I’m a farmer, and I’ll always be a farmer at heart,” he said.
“He’s done a great job. He came in with virtually no town experience, and he’s just done a great job,” said Mayor Clifton C. Murray. “We were very fortunate to hire him.”
“I came in 2008, when the real estate market just vanished, and we didn’t have a lot of growth during a majority of the time I was here. But in the last few years,” he said, he’s seen people coming back to develop. “I think it’s going really good now. The Town has been conservative. We knew we’d eventually have growth. Anytime you’re located 10 miles from the ocean and on a major corridor,” he said, growth can be expected.
“I hate to see him go. He’s been that good,” Murray said. “You didn’t have to worry about Bob. He’d come to us with any kind of — if you needed help, making decisions. He worked well with all the other departments, as well.”
“The employees have just been a joy to work for,” Dickerson said. “They’ve just been supportive of everything I’ve done. They knew what to do, they knew their job, and I just tried to” provide the resources to make their jobs easier, he added.
Dickerson noted that many Town employees have served the Town for longer than he has. He called them “very dedicated workers, with a good, strong work ethic.”
Dickerson has worked in Selbyville for decades. He was the president of Baltimore Trust Company for about 40 years, before it was merged to form the Mercantile Peninsula Bank, where he was executive vice president. Several years later, PNC bought the company, which is when Dickerson got a phone call that the Town of Selbyville was seeking a local who knew the community well.
“It was old-home week for me. I live here. I’ve been here forever. It was a real opportunity to work this close to home and with people I’ve known.”
An ongoing challenge was keeping all the infrastructure, water and wastewater operations up to date.
But it’s been worth it for Dickerson and his team to serve the people, he emphasized.
“We work for the people of the town of Selbyville,” he said. “We help them to do what they want to do and provide for the peaceful enjoyment of their homes and other businesses.”
Dickerson thanked the citizens “for allowing me to serve them these years. It’s been an honor. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity.”
Murray called Dickerson a trustworthy person with a great personality.
“[I’ve] never seen him get excited or aggravated,” the mayor said. He always was fair to the people.”
Dickerson said he worked “just the joy you get from helping people in the community resolve whatever issues they have. Sometimes we don’t have all the answers, but we always listen,” he said. “But when we help, people really appreciate it.”
“I hope that he’s enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed having him,” Murray said. “We wish him the best.”
Selbyville will look to Mike Diehl, code enforcement officer, to fill the administrator position in the interim. Diehl has nine years of Town experience, Dickerson said.
The Town will advertise for a part-time code officer position.
“I know that Mike Diehl, having worked with the community all these years, developed … a good rapport,” Dickerson said. “They will find him just as dedicated to the people we serve.”