ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Albany's city manager is setting his sights on the future. He's leaving Albany, but not right now. He'll stay on as city manager for one more year, to lead department heads through one more budget cycle and perhaps help the new manager transition into place.
Lott says he does have one big regret during his tenure in Albany, but many more successes.
Al Lott says his decision to leave Albany is a simple one. His wife and grown children no longer live in Georgia. They've taken jobs near the metro DC area, and now it's his time to join them. He said, "The most important job I've ever had is being a dad, so I believe it would be better for my children if I were in closer proximity to them at this point and for me too."
Lott says he's proud of the work he's accomplished in Albany and happy with the way the city is functioning. "We are fiscally stable," he said. "We haven't had to furlough our employees, we haven't had to cut our employees. We haven't had to cut our services."
Lott has been criticized for some bad hires and trouble employees during his tenure, but he says that comes with the territory and the next manager will need tough skin to handle the job. He said, "Somebody who is competent, strong. You have to be strong here, you have to be tough, you have to be able to stick with your convictions, even when you are being criticized."
And the only thing Lott is critical of himself for is the hiring of and trouble surrounding former downtown manager Don Buie, who was fired and convicted of stealing from the city.
"The only regret I have from the time I've been here is that," he said. "I regret that Slavin Management didn't check Don Buie as thoroughly as they checked me out. That's my regret, because I think all that situation did was just tear the city up and make us look bad outside to other people."
Lott says he was not put under any pressure to resign from the city, and looks forward to his next and final year in Albany.
Lott's last day with the city will be July 30th of next year. He says he will consider another job in local government, the private sector and even consider starting his own business.