City manager Jackson prepares to leave - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City manager Jackson prepares to leave

December 21, 2004

Albany- "Seems like every piece of paper or mug or whatever reminds me of something that happened in the past," says city manager Janice Allen Jackson.

For nearly a decade, Janice Allen Jackson has worn the hat of Albany city manager, the first African American and only woman to ever do so.

"Obviously a first is always significant. It places a little bit of an extra burden on you, because people's expectations are going to be high, but hopefully we've met them."

She may be preparing to pack up all the coffee mugs and plaques given to her over the years, but she can't take the things she'll miss the most with her.

"It's the city of Albany's employees. We've got 891 full-time positions with the city, and at first I thought I was going to be able to know everybody by name. It hasn't quite worked out that way, but I do know several hundred of them by name."

Those several hundred have been like an extended family to her.

"I've tried to avoid crying. I haven't done it yet, but I'm sure something will get me before I get out of here."

Is there anything she won't miss?

"Well I'll be honest with you. On the first Tuesday in January at 8:30, I won't be sitting in that chair, and I'm going to probably be at home in my sweat pants relaxing."

As she relaxes, her two children, ages three and six, will help her settle into her new career.

"I'll be a housewife, get my kids out, and do those sort of mommy things, and I'm going to enjoy doing that."

Jackson says there is a chance she'll one day return to city government, but for now, she's closing the city manager chapter in her life story and plans to title it...

"Janice was somebody who genuinely cared about people," she says.

The city will hold a going away party for Jackson on January 11th. It is open to the public, and will be held at the Civic Center at 4 PM.

Posted at 5:25 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com