ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - The city of Ashburn is gearing up for a special election to fill its mayor's seat.
The former mayor, Sedric Carithers, resigned his position and was appointed as city manager. Carithers and the city attorney acknowledged that a move from mayor to city manager isn't normal but is legal.
The former mayor believes he is the right man for the job.
Carithers is settling into his new office as the city manager of Ashburn.
The desk has been empty for more than a year.
"The position was available, and I took it. What better place to start out than your hometown," said Carithers.
Carithers comes to the job without any official experience other than his year and a half as mayor.
He graduated from Valdosta State in 2014 with a Masters degree in Public Administration. He admits the decision to resign as mayor was tough.
"I felt a little guilty because I was elected as mayor, but I know what I had went to school for, and I know the opportunity was there, and it was best for me and my family and for the city of Ashburn," said Carithers.
The old job in the mayor's office pays just $7,800 a year. The new job across the hall in the city manager's office pays $69,000 a year, a pretty large pay increase.
"Opportunities don't come often. I took the opportunity," said Carithers.
The sudden switch has turned heads, but city attorney Tommy Coleman insists it was done by the book.
"The mayor resigned his position as mayor. The council then appointed him to be city manager," said Coleman.
The unanimous appointment by the five council members prevents the city from having to take applications, name finalists, and wait 14 days to give someone the job.
"They just appointed him which they can clearly do," said Coleman.
As for Carithers, the move does officially give him more power in their government. He said that's not what it's about.
"I'm not a power person. I like to work with people. It won't be no problem for me. I know my role as a city manager," said Carithers.
Carithers said his role is to work strictly for the mayor and council. The special election will be in November.