The four council members who were elected or re-elected Tuesday all had thoughts on the first issue they will face after being sworn in April 15.
For the first time in 16 years, the Augusta City Council will have to choose a new city manager. Bill Keefer accepted a job in Grove, Okla. and will be leaving Augusta in May.
During the April 15 meeting, Mayor Kristey Williams will bring a list of consultants who have formally expressed interest in assisting with the search for Keefer’s replacement.
The council will decide how to proceed.
“I am sad that we have to look for a new city manager,” Ward Three City Councilor Mike Rawlings said. “But I feel with the people elected to the council and currently on the council, we will be able to make it a positive thing. We will look for the positive in it and make a good move for the city’s future.”
Ward Four Councilor Ron Reavis agreed.
“I wish we didn’t have to do it but with the help of some experts, I think we can find what we are looking for,” Reavis said. “I am glad to be involved in the process.”
Newly elected Ward One Councilor Jason Lowery said facing a major issue during his first council meeting fits his outlook.
“I always face life with the idea that if you have to eat a lot of toads, eat the biggest one first,” Lowery said. “If we can successfully tackle hiring a new city manager then I think it can lead to success on a lot of other projects in the future.”
New Ward Two City Councilor Jamie Hubbard said she also had mixed feelings about the process.
“I am excited to get to work with the council to find a new city manager,” Hubbard said. “I am not excited about the way Mr. Keefer was treated or that he is leaving. But we have to move forward and find the best person we can.”