Thomasville Council appoints interim general superintendent of utilities

Thomasville Council appoints interim general superintendent of utilities

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - The city of Thomasville may soon have new leadership.

On Monday night, council members created a new interim city utilities superintendent position and offered someone the job.

Before, those responsibilities fell under the city manager position, a role that was vacated just two months ago by Steve Sykes.

Keith Bass, potentially the new interim general superintendent of utilities in Thomasville, has a long resume. His most recent role, serving as the CEO of the Electric Cities of Georgia in Atlanta.

Some council members said that experience is why they're moving fast to hire Bass. Others said they're making a decision too fast.

"This is an extremely important position within the city. It's a new position, so it's new payroll, everything. The rush to get someone in here is not necessary, there is no fire, no problems." said District 2 Councilman Jay Flowers.

The interim general superintendent of utilities is slated to make up to $150,000 a year when compared to cities of the same size.

That person would be in charge of the biggest revenue system in the city.

Flowers was the sole no vote Monday night. He believes the city should have opened the position to other candidates to make sure whoever takes on that role is a good fit for the city.

"It's interesting that two of the members of the council have spent time with this candidate, the other three have not. One has had a short phone call with him, that is not the proper vetting process for someone who is going to be so important to our community," said Flowers.

Flowers wasn't the only one to express concern.

Interim City Manager Kha McDonald asked the council to consider Chris White for the position.

Right now, White is already serving as the assistant utilities superintendent. Until last night, he oversaw duties Bass would take over.

McDonald said letting White continue working like he has been gives the city time to search for candidates and wouldn't add a new salary to the budget.

"Mr. Flowers, unless Mr. Sanders tells me we have done something illegal, we are moving forward," said Mayor Greg Hobbs.

The process could take about three weeks to hire Bass.

Bass is expected to serve while the council searches for a permanent replacement for the job.

Bass was terminated from his previous position as CEO of the Electric Cities of Georgia.

Company representatives said Bass worked there from July 2009 to May 2013.

Bass said that termination was not hostile, saying he disagreed with the company board about the future of the organization.

He said he is in the process of relocating to Thomasville and says he only expects to be in this new role until a person is appointed to the position permanently.

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