Today, I am saddened to announce the passing of a longtime public servant, firefighter, Chief, friend, and former City of Laurel City Administrator Mr. William F. “Bill” Goddard, III, on September 1, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family.
Administrator Goddard was smart, dedicated, loyal, demanding and fair. He was an excellent mentor, an asset to government, kept issues in perspective, full of fun and wit, a good family man, and a great friend.
All words among many more that describe William F. Goddard, III!
Bill was a man of integrity allowing for him to be a confidante to me and many others. He was genuinely compassionate, and really cared about City staff. He always made a point to ask them how they were personally doing and about their families before he got down to business. He took civic responsibility and community service seriously and lived by the qualities of morality, ethics and legality. He was an individual always ready to serve and teach others. Bill was a problem solver, whose objective was always to “get to yes”. He was a devoted public servant and strived to provide the best for the citizens of Laurel.
To Bill’s family, friends and co-workers, I offer my condolences. We are grateful to have known him and to have worked with him during his time with the City. Bill’s first involvement with the City was back in 2004 when he humbly accepted my appointment of him as Chair of the City of Laurel’s first-ever Public Safety Master Plan Update Committee. This was a completely volunteer appointment, but Bill tackled it with the same energy and dedication as if he were being paid top dollar for his time. The friendship and support he gave to us over the years did not go unnoticed and was always appreciated. I will miss Bill greatly.
Right before my Mayoral re-election in 2019, I was looking to make some changes in my Executive Leadership Team. I wanted a hard-working person with vision and leadership experience. I wanted someone that could make sure government was working for the people and able to ask the tough questions and make difficult decisions while moving government forward and a person to help me continue to sell Laurel as a great place to live, work and raise a family.
One person’s name came to mind to help me make that important change: William F. Goddard, III.
I never thought Bill would accept the job, he always liked being behind the scenes, well, I asked, and he accepted, and the rest is history.
Bill started with the City of Laurel on August 10, 2015, serving as the City of Laurel’s Emergency Service Coordinator, the day that the news broke about the closing of Laurel Regional Hospital. He later was appointed Acting Deputy City Administrator on January 1, 2016, confirmed as Deputy City Administrator on February 22, 2016. Bill was appointed and confirmed on October 1, 2018 as Laurel’s City Administrator, until he was reassigned as Executive Assistant on May 10, 2021, and held that position until he retired on July 31, 2021.
Bill led the City through difficult times during the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked tirelessly, many days, he was the only person at City Hall, developing policy and practices to ensure the health and safety of all City employees as well as the public.
Bill worked to advance City of Laurel daily municipal operations, support the City of Laurel employees with safety measures and helped lead the way for better salary and benefits, and was the Administration’s lead for the last two successful negotiations of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 11 Contracts.
The most important thing to Bill was family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Marie Duffield, daughters Kellie, Jordyn, Emily, Brandi and son Stephen. Bill was equally devoted to his grandkids and brothers and sisters. He loved talking about his family and how proud he was of all of them!
William F. Goddard, III was a true public servant, prior to his employment with the City, Bill served his Country in the United States Navy, the Prince George’s County Fire and Rescue Department as the Chief Deputy, State of Maryland as Deputy Secretary of State, Maryland Department of Transportation as Chief of Staff to the Secretary, the Howard County Fire and Rescue Department serving as Fire Chief, as well as several executive positions in the private sector.
To recognize Former City Administrator William F. “Bill” Goddard, III’s service to the City of Laurel, State and County, I have ordered the Flags at all City buildings at half-staff effective today through 5:00 pm on September 8, 2021. Arrangements will be posted on the City’s web site, www.cityoflaurel.org, when they become available.