Usher named director of county’s Solid Waste Department, as of Feb. 13

He previously served as manager of the Solid Waste division

Brian Usher. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Brian Usher has been named director of Sarasota County’s Solid Waste Department, effective as of Feb. 13, the county has announced.

Usher has been a county employee for nearly 20 years, having joined the organization in 2002, a news release notes. Prior to his being named department director, Usher served as solid waste manager and oversaw operations such as solid waste collections, recycling, hazardous waste disposal, litter prevention “and other successful programs,” the release points out.

“Brian has proven his dedication to public service, the taxpayers and Sarasota County Government,” Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis said in the release. “He showed a talent for thoughtful leadership in his previous role as manager, which made him the obvious choice for the job,” Lewis added in the release.

Usher said it was an honor to be selected for the post, the release notes. He cited the launch of the single-stream recycling program in 2020 as one of the Solid Waste Department’s many accomplishments, the release adds. Usher said he looks forward to continuing to provide the same high-level quality of service to the community, the release points out. He credits his staff for the department’s success.

“We have one of, if not the best, solid waste departments in the entire country,” Usher said in the release. “Our accomplishments are a testament to their hard work, and it’s a privilege to lead this team,” he added.

Usher’s salary is $122,012, county Media Relations Officer Drew Winchester told The Sarasota News Leader.

A Sept. 13, 2020 posting for the director’s position on and through the Florida Association of Counties listed a salary range between $92,518.40 and $120,556.80, the News Leader found.

The minimum qualifications for the job were as follows in those postings: “A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in Public or Business Administration, Civil or Environmental Engineering, or related field and ten years of progressively responsible related experience OR Master’s Degree with eight (8) or more years of progressively responsible related experience. Six (6) or more years of supervisory/management experience. Previous work as a high-level manager is preferred.”

Among the responsibilities of the director, the listings also pointed out, would be making presentations to the County Commission, “various citizen groups and the general public on county-wide Solid Waste related matters”; directing the development of documentation to recommend and support County Commission actions; and serving as the spokesperson for Solid Waste in advocating the county’s mission, vision, and values.

A South Carolina native, Usher earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Andrews College, the release notes. In addition to that, he holds certifications from the Solid Waste Association of North America in regard to managing Municipal Solid Waste Collection Systems and Integrated Solid Waste Management System, the release says.

Larry Alexander, who served for many years as the manager of the county’s Solid Waste Division, retired on June 30, 2020, county Media Relations Officer Winchester told the News Leader. Usher succeeded Alexander in that role, Winchester pointed out.

The latest county organizational chart — revised this month — shows Usher as director of Solid Waste. Past charts the News Leader reviewed did not list a person as director, or indicate that Solid Waste was a separate department.

This is the updated county Organizational Chart. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Mike Mylett is director of the county’s Public Utilities Department, under which Solid Waste had been a division.