News12 at six o'clock/ Dec. 31st 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Dec. 31 is not only the last day of the year but it's also the last day for Augusta City Administrator Fred Russell.
He was fired after more than 10 years on the job. Russell is walking away with a hefty severance package, but he says he's also walking away with a lot of pride.We sat down with him today and he talked candidly about his proudest moments, his mistakes and his future.
News12 Ryan Houston asked: "You've been able to stay on the job maybe as the longest city administrator. Did you play politics?"
Fred Russell: "My definition of politics is the interaction between two people. We're playing politics now. You play the game. You play with what you get to work with."
News12's Ryan Houston: "There were talks of retirement for you next year. Do you feel robbed of your retirement?"
Fred Russell: "The severance package I got was more than fair. The money I paid into retirement is mine. There was no robbery there at all. It was just a difference of opinion."
News12's Ryan Houston :"What's the biggest misconception people have of you?"
Fred Russell: "Some though I really had an agenda. I mean my agenda was crafted by the people I worked for."
News12's Ryan Houston: "Is the city headed in the right direction with the leadership that we have?"
Fred Russell: "Some of the best days, we've had is when we've fought and came to a conclusion. It's when we fight and don't come to an agreement is when things get tough. In Augusta, sometimes that gets in the way of progress especially if you spend more time on the argument than the progress."
News12's Ryan Houston: "Do you plan to run for Mayor?
Fred Russell: "I'm still on the city pay role until 12 midnight. It would be inappropriate to talk about that while I'm getting paid. Call me tomorrow."
News12's Ryan Houston: "That sounds like a maybe."
Fred Russell: "It sounds like I'll miss you."