UPDATE | Commissioners vote no on all city administrator candidates

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta Commissioners can't agree on who should become the next city administrator.

The city interviewed former Charlotte General Manager Janice Jackson, former Bibb County Manager Steve Layson and former Taos Manager Oscar Rodriguez.

Mayor Copenhaver wants Rodriguez while almost everybody else wants something or someone different.

"I'm so embarrassed," said Commissioner Grady Smith.

During the spring, the commission went into contract with a head hunting firm. The firm brought 100 candidates, The mayor read their resumes and picked the top three. Copenhaver recommended one to the commission. City leaders had their own ideas.

"I'd like to make a motion to no action in respect of hiring an administrator and to discontinue the recruitment process for the administrator position," Commissioner Donnie Smith said.

The commission couldn't agree between Janice Jackson or Oscar Rodriguez.

"I wouldn't have called the meeting if I didn't fell strongly that I had more than six votes and that didn't turn out to be the case today," Commissioner Donnie Smith said.

"Regardless of interviews, I had enough information to make a decision and I was prepared to make a decision," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

We're told the city may not have to pay the full $25,000 if they'd like to bring in a new roster of candidates. Mayor Copenhaver said what type of candidate would want to work for a divided Commission.

Original story

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta Commissioners couldn't decide on any of the three city administrator candidates and decided to vote no on all of them.

After a $25,000 search, it's back to the drawing board for Commissioners after they were at a standstill in the voting process. With 5 votes for Rodriguez and 4 votes for Jackson, no one wanted to switch their vote. Corey Johnson was not here today, so only 9 commissioners voted. Six votes were needed for one candidate to take the seat.

Tameka Allen will continue to serve in the interim. Mayor Deke Copenhaver says he's disappointed by the decision.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Mayor Deke Copenhaver is putting his support behind Oscar Rodriguez for city administrator, Commissioner Grady Smith said.

Smith said the mayor called him in to try to get his vote. Rodriguez, Steve Layson and Janice Jackson are in the running to fill Fred Russell's old spot.

News 12 sources said Copenhaver knew his choice immediately after the interviews. Copenhaver said he knew who his pick was as soon as interviews were over.

The candidate with six or more votes wins.

Click here to see how interviews went and a full resume from each participant.

Monday, July 14, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Mayor Copenhaver has already picked between Janice Jackson, Oscar Rodriguez and Steve Layson on who should get the administrator job.

Copenhaver says he knew who his pick was as soon as interviews were over.

"When you look at the interview process they all did well. You look at their educational background and they all did well. I can feel good about my recommendation once," said Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

The qualifications are a masters degree and experience leading a city the size of Augusta. Layson is the only candidate without that degree.

Jackson is the only one who has called the shots in a city or county with a population of 195,000 or more. She was the GM in Mecklenberg County which includes Charlotte, North Carolina and has nearly 1 million people.

Layson managed Bibb County, Georgia with around 155,000 people.

The candidate with six or more votes wins. Sources tell us right now candidate Janice Allen Jackson has one or two votes.

Those same sources say Steve Layson has at least three commissioners supporting him. We're told by city sources that the third candidate, Oscar Rodriguez is the mayor's favorite. He also has two to three votes from the commission.

"Both people that were recommended by me were hired with 10 to 0 votes," said Former Mayor Bob Young. "We thought it was important that everybody be in agreement on the candidate."

Young recommended former administrators George Kolb and Fred Russell.

For now, those with the voting power are not yet sold on who will get the position.

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