LaGrange City Manager Kelsey resigns

Published 8:43 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

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In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, LaGrange City Manager Meg Kelsey has resigned from the City of LaGrange.

Kelsey submitted a resignation letter on Tuesday morning. The resignation was publicly announced after the council’s work session later in the day.

According to a press release from the city, Kelsey has accepted a job offer from the City of Newnan. She will remain with the city until Jan. 12.

Mayor Willie Edmondson acknowledged the resignation with a heavy heart during the council work session thanking Kelsey for her dedication to the city over 27 years.

“Our hearts are heavy. You have been so much to the City of LaGrange. You have done a job that most men couldn’t do,” Edmondson said. “God knows I just appreciate you so very much.”

Edmondson said Kelsey has carried the city for years, which is financially stable because of her leadership.

“All the things that we’ve had come before us, you have stepped up to the plate and made sure that everything has gone well,” Edmondson said.

Kelsey’s departure is yet another departure in City of LaGrange leadership. The city’s mayor, police chief, fire chief and now city manager have resigned within just over a year. Kelsey played a big role in replacing the latter two. She won’t be so easily replaced, the new mayor Edmonson joked.

“We needed a fire chief. You stepped up and got one of those for us. We needed a police chief, you stepped up and got us one of those for us. We need a city manager and you’re stepping out on us,” Edmondson joked.

Following the mayor’s comments, the council and council meeting attendees gave Kelsey a standing ovation.

Former Mayor Jim Thornton, who worked with Kelsey for many years, echoed that she will be difficult to replace.

“I’m happy for Meg but sad for LaGrange. She’s been a great asset to LaGrange for nearly three decades and will be hard to replace. I know she’s excited about this opportunity to move home to Newnan, and she’s perfect for this new role there,” Thornton said.

In the resignation announcement, Kelsey thanked the city for her time here, noting the decision to move on was a difficult one.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have had to grow and develop professionally in LaGrange. However, a new opportunity has emerged and it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from my current position.” Kelsey said. “I hope that I have added some value to the City’s tradition of excellence. I am grateful for the support and the tireless efforts of the men and women of the City of LaGrange.”

LaGrange Utilities Director Patrick Bowie will serve as interim city manager. The city council unanimously approved Bowie as the interim manager until a permanent replacement is found.