Fred Russell, Augusta Commissioners Talk Retirement And Both Agr - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Fred Russell, Augusta Commissioners Talk Retirement And Both Agree It's Time For A Change

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Photo of Augusta City Administrator Fred Russell Photo of Augusta City Administrator Fred Russell
Augusta, GA -

Now you see Augusta's City Administrator, but one day you won't. Fred Russell is preparing to move on.

“The reality is it might be time for a new face, it might be time for new thoughts and it's going to be tough,” said Russell.

Russell took over as City Administrator in 2005 and in recent weeks has had conversation with Augusta Commissioners about his future, and a change at the top.

"I thought that was good. It’s time for us to move in a different direction. A position like Administrator or Manager, those are not lifelong positions,” says Commissioner Bill Lockett.

“I think it's time to do that, I do believe it is. I think it's important to go in a different direction at this point,” says Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson.

Russell isn't going anywhere at this point. No official paperwork has been filed, and no retirement has been announced. But, he turns 62 in September and says if details of a retirement package can be worked out, he would like to leave the end of next year. “That was sort of what I was thinking...to work through the end of '14, announce it early enough so they can go and look for somebody," said Russell.  

"I don't have a problem with 2014. We need time to transition and we want the transition to be a smooth transition, not a hasty transition,” says Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

Commissioners will decide Russell’s future, another 13 months or less.

“I would suspect he would be on his way out by late summer,” says Lockett.

“If we were to start as soon as January, looking get somebody in place by March, the transition could happen in June,” says Johnson.

“He's not being forced out, this is more or less a mutual agreement. At least that's consensus I got when I conversed with him,” says Lockett.

And, Russell agrees that retirement will be his decision. “I think everybody who knows me well enough, now, who listens to your TV station, I don't get forced to do too much,” says Russell.

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