LaGrange city manager search continues

Published 10:30 am Saturday, January 6, 2024

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The search for a new city manager in LaGrange continues as the hunt enters its final week of accepting applications.
LaGrange has been looking for its next permanent city manager after the unexpected resignation of Meg Kelsey. The soon-to-be-former city manager has worked for the city for 27 years, since 1996, and as city manager since 2016 after taking over for the late Tom Hall.

Kelsey’s last day will be next Friday, Jan. 12. Utilities Director Patrick Bowie has been named interim city manager by the city council.

Mayor Willie Edmondson said the search is going well. The city has engaged Tom Berry, of Underwood and Company in Thomasville , Georgia to assist with the search due to the importance of the position. Underwood specializes in executive employee searches for senior management positions in municipal government and utility operations.

Edmondson said the nationwide search has already received about 25 applications. Applications will continue to be accepted until Jan. 12.

In the job listing, the city is asking for the following preferred qualifications:

 a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
10 years of progressive management experience.
Experience at a management level in a multiple utility environment.
Ability to foster local and regional partnerships.
Experience working with boards in a political environment.
Understanding of complex financial processes.
Strong leadership and communication skills (both oral and written).
Financial management ability (including trend assessment and forecasting in a utility environment).
Excellent interpersonal skills and a passion for customer service.

In the listing, there was a strong emphasis on utilities knowledge and leadership as the city’s $100-plus million budget is primarily supported by sales.

Edmondson said that Underwood will narrow the candidates down, but ultimately he and the council will come to a decision on who to hire.