ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Assistant City Manager Wes Smith confirms to WALB that City Manager James Taylor has officially submitted his letter of resignation after just over three years leading the city. He was not at the city commission meeting, at which former mayor Dr. Willie Adams announced that Taylor had stepped down.
Willie Adams stood up in the meeting about 9:20 and said that Taylor resigned, but had made no formal announcement. Adams said that Taylor was a good man, and his integrity should not be questioned.
Taylor, who was expected to have returned from vacation, and be present to meet with city commissioners Tuesday morning, was not at the city commission meeting. Among other issues, some commissioners said they wanted to have a discussion with Taylor regarding a very large bonus recently paid to a city employee.
Former Assistant City Manager James Taylor took over day to day operations of the city in February of 2011, and was officially installed two months later. The successor to Al Lott, who served just over five years, Taylor was chosen over James Payne, a former city administrator for Waukesha, Wisconsin and Barbara Lipscomb, city manger for Casselberry, Florida.
City officials say they're sad to hear that James Taylor is resigning.
"He has absolutely served his country, served this city, and now I hope he serves himself and enjoys his retirement," says BJ Fletcher, Commissioner Ward III.
Commissioner Fletcher nominated Tom Berry for interim City Manager.
"He's got a fantastic track record and he knows utilities, he's been a city manager, you know the morale and the people around him, they love him," says Fletcher.
But Fletcher says she would still like an explanation from Taylor about why he gave a city worker a $20,000 bonus.
"I would love an explanation so I could pass it on to my constituents but whatever the formalities are I will respect it," she says.
Commissioner Postel says he supports Taylor's decision to give the bonus, and says the employee worked hard with the city and WG&L to save the city money.
"Things were not in the proportion that they should have been and its still not in proportion that it should be," says Tommie Postell, Commissioner Ward VI.
But in the meantime, Fletcher says she would like to see a policy change that would require commissioners approval to give out bonuses.
s a lot for the mayor and the commissioners not to be able to sit in on and I would love to see that policy changed and its up to the commissioners to change it," says Fletcher.
No action was taken to resend the saving based performance bonus given to Veronica Wright