City study raises leadership concerns -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City study raises leadership concerns

June 22, 2005

Albany-- Albany commissioners are speaking out about a proposed five year plan for the city that calls for major changes from better leadership to upgraded technology. The proposed plan could save the city $19 million over the next five years.

From public works to finance, each Albany department is poised for change under a five year strategic plan proposed by Capital Principles consultant Tuesday.

"Some things are needed immediately and some things will come on a five year basis before they're implemented," said City Commissioner Tommy Postell.

Postell wasn't surprised when the consultants said the city's leadership needs major improvements, starting with some ineffective managers. They didn't list specific department heads, but Postell and fellow commissioner Jon Howard say all employees need to be objectively reviewed-- and fired-- if they're doing a bad job.

"If we have department heads or employees that aren't doing their jobs, I think it's time for them to look somewhere else or find another job," said Howard.

Finance Director Shirley Smith says she feels her department is doing a good job, but wasn't surprised to hear poor review of the leadership overall. "Some people might have become complacent or non-nonchalant because they've been here for a while," Smith said. "But I'm really excited about the strategic plan and us moving forward in a new direction."

She says the key to improvement is hiring an aggressive new city manager who'll review work performance of the department heads and make changes if needed. "Some of them may make some people very unhappy, but if that is what it takes to get this City moving forward," Smith said.

So why have some poor managers been leading the city for years without opposition? Smith says its because employees are often too intimidated to bring forth problems.

That's wasn't a concern of the consultants though. "They had no ties to anybody, so they could be fair and objective and say what the truth is," said Smith.

A hard truth that commissioners and other city managers hope will lead to positive change for Albany.

The city paid Capital Principles $85,000 to find inefficiencies in all the city's department, from computer software to department heads. The consultants suggested 134 changes that they say would save $19 million in the next five years.


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