She graduated from South Fork High School, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Central Florida, then decided to pursue a doctorate at Florida International University.
Could a career as an elected leader lie ahead?
“At one point in time, yeah, I thought I would run for office,” says Stuart resident Teresa Lamar-Sarno, the owner of a consulting company that helps local municipalities with special projects. “A politician is a job that I do not envy now that I am older and have a family.”
Instead, the 40-year-old wife and mother of two came upon a career as a certified planner, and it began in Martin County.
“A lot of people may complain about the fact that you’re dealing with the public, but I have always enjoyed the aspect of dealing with the public,” says Lamar-Sarno, who landed a job as a project manager for the Community Redevelopment Agency.
After four years with the county, she joined the “Sailfish Capital of the World” as a Community Redevelopment Agency administrator and later as the special assistant to the city manager. Most recently—and most notably—she became the first village manager of newly incorporated Indiantown.
“Not every city manager out there has had the incredible opportunity to start from the ground up,” Lamar-Sarno says. “What I wanted to do was to make sure the mission and vision was the public’s—their thoughts, their ideas.”
As village manager, her tasks include creating and administering all areas of government, as well as authoring an all-important comprehensive plan.
“Indiantown is the future of the Treasure Coast,” Lamar-Sarno says. “It is a community centered around attracting industry, celebrating tradition and promoting family-friendly neighborhoods.”
Her contract ends this month, at which point a permanent city manager will be appointed.
What have you done as interim village manager that you would like the permanent city manager to continue?
I think what’s important for whoever replaces me is that the entire community as a whole has to keep being educated. Keep it open. Keep informing the public what the village is doing, what it’s working on, what the future holds.
How have your previous career roles set you up to take on the position of interim city manager?
Working at the city of Stuart gave me a great head start for what running a city looks like. It’s primarily listening to the public. I am grateful for my experience at the city of Stuart, as it has served me well to establish the initial policies of the village of Indiantown.
What do you plan to do next?
I am excited to pursue my consultancy business to serve at multiple Treasure Coast municipalities as a consultant. I am enjoying the latitude it provides me to work on special projects.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I love to travel, spend time with family and volunteer with the United Way of Martin County and Kiwanis Club of Stuart.