Many Augusta department head positions remain unfilled

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

The 'help wanted' sign is out for the city of Augusta.

Months have passed, and there are still several department head vacancies.

Need a job? Well, the city of Augusta certainly has plenty of them. That's not always a bad thing, but it can be when those vacancies are for key positions, like a finance director.

These are jobs that have been open for a what's taking so long to fill them?

"These jobs are hard to fill, so I think we're moving as expeditiously as we can," says city administrator Fred Russell.

And these aren't just any jobs. We're talking vacancies in some of the city's top management positions.

"So we're working on it," says Augusta mayor Deke Copenhaver. "Sometimes these searches take longer than you would hope."

Right now Human Resources, Engineering, Finance, Housing and Economic Development, and Animal Control still have no permanent directors.

"The departments suffer when you don't have a permanent person in the director's position," Copenhaver says.

It's been months since Teresa Smith was fired as Engineering director, and months since David Presaud left as Finance Director. Animal Control hasn't had a permanent leader in three years.

So what's taking so long to find replacements?

"Finding the right people for the job is more important to me than finding the wrong people quickly, and that's why we take so long to do this," Russell says.

City administrator Fred Russell says applications are coming in, and some interviews have taken place.

But for a city in a budget crunch, facing lawsuits, and behind on major projects, perhaps consistent leadership can't be found soon enough.

The city administrator says he's happy with the interim people they have filling most of the positions.

He also says interviews are taking place right now for a new Housing and Economic Development director. He hopes to have that position filled within the next couple of weeks.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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