City Manager's days my be numbered - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City Manager's days my be numbered

March 24, 2004

Albany-- Some city commissioners want to get rid of City Manager Janice Allen Jackson, and are delaying the renewal of her contract. The Mayor is standing behind her, but several commissioners say Jackson should be fired.

At a closed door executive session Tuesday night, city commissioners delayed a decision on the reappointment of Jackson. "It's the opinion of a majority of the commissioners, I do believe, that it's perhaps time for a change with the chief administrative officer," said Commissioner Henry Mathis.

Mathis blames Jackson, in part, for low morale in several departments including public safety. He says a new city manager needs to reevaluate department heads. "I'm certain they'll find a change is needed in some of those departments," said Mathis.

Mathis also says some city projects, like the Harlem Streetscape project, routinely run behind. "There are a number of projects that are running anywhere from four to eight years out. There's a consistent pattern that projects that the City has had on board are running behind schedule."

In response to low morale, Jackson says "Morale is a problem in most sizeable organizations...Our employees would like to make more money, but have been limited in recent years by increasingly limited revenues."

Jackson blames project delays on funding shortfalls and indecision by elected officials. She says more than $150 million in projects have been completed since she was hired in 1996.

Commissioners are at odds over Jackson's contract. Bob Langstaff and Mayor Dr. Willie Adams don't want to fire Jackson. Tommie Postell agrees a change in leadership is needed. Jon Howard would not comment, and the other commissioners could not be reached.

Until a majority can agree, Jackson's future with the City of Albany will remain cloudy. Commissioners may call a special meeting next week to decide on Jackson's contract.

posted at 5:15PM by dave.miller@walb.com