Former Augusta Mayor Says City Administrator Search Could Take M - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Former Augusta Mayor Says City Administrator Search Could Take Months

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Augusta, GA -

Fred Russell is out and Augusta Commissioners will hire a search firm to find his replacement. 

"This head hunting agency is going to be very important because we have to have a certified...I mean, George, one that has been trained and has received his certification in Administration," says Commissioner Alvin Mason.

Former Mayor Bob Young knows all about hiring a headhunter to find a new city administrator. That's the process the city used when he was mayor to hire George Kolb.

"It's a very arduous process to go through a head hunter, if you're going to do it right," said Young.

Commissioners want the head hunter, they are also expecting this process not to last that long. 

"I think probably, by the end of the first quarter, the end of March, we should have someone in place," said Commissioner Bill Lockett. "You think this could be done as quickly as March?" we asked. "Oh, that's not really that quick," says Lockett.

Young's experience is different; the headhunter took six months to find a replacement. "He came in, met with the community, developed a community profile, then went out to find a fit for this community profile," said the former mayor.

But, some Commissioners anticipate a much faster track.

"Even though it's the holiday season, I think we could have someone in for interviews...later part of January or early February, and probably have somebody in place the end of March," said Lockett.

"You get what you pay for and if you want to invest 90 days, you get a 90 day wonder," said Young.

Fred Russell's employment letter says he gets six months pay and benefits if he is fired. Young says the Commisison should expect any certified administrator candidate will want a similar deal. "There's no question there would be a severance package, some kind of golden parachute because they know, like Randy [Oliver], George, and Fred, they could be out of here very quickly," said Young.

Young says conducting the search, agreeing on a candidate, and having that candidate get out of an existing position and come to Augusta could take until fall.

Tuesday, Commissioners will meet behind closed doors to discuss who will be interim administrator or administrators.

Commissioner Joe Jackson doesn't expect any decision until after the first of the year.

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