Civic center manager hires lawyer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Civic center manager hires lawyer

November 8, 2005

Albany -- The new city manager and the boss of the Albany James H. Gray Civic Center seem to be on a collision course over how the largest arena in South Georgia is run.  

Albany's city manager ordered the Civic Center Director Matty Goddard to shape up or lose her job.

In an October 26th letter to Goddard, City Manager Alfred Lott wrote, "You are performing below satisfactory performance standards."

He went on to say "You have presented problems related to the Civic Center to me without feasible solutions... You wanted me to make a decision that was yours to make."

Lott warned Goddard to improve her performance or face disciplinary action, including termination. The letter came after Lott reviewed Goddard's performance and department.

Goddard hired attorney Maurice King. He says Goddard feels the new city manager is on a witch hunt, and hasn't been with the city long enough to tell her she's doing a bad job. "She has not done anything to get fired over. The City of Albany Georgia has a progressive discipline policy. To my knowledge, Goddard hasn't even ever had a verbal warning before."

In February, six area businesses leaders sent a letter to then interim City Manager Lem Edwards complaining about poor leadership at the civic center. Edwards conducted a review and said Goddard performed with a short staff and on a tight budget.

Recently, Goddard was criticized for holding season ticket money from the Wildcats. The city manager told her to hand it over. Goddard's attorney says the civic center wasn't even supposed to handle season tickets.

When we asked Wildcats Managing Partner Mike Storen about his current relationship with Goddard, he said, "The staff at the civic center works very hard to help the Wildcats produce football games." We then asked if “the staff” included Maddie Goddard, and he said, "I didn't say that."

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