Albany City Manager Alfred Lott says to heck with what his bosses told him: He’s going to hire a headhunter to replace Don Buie whether the City Commission likes it or not.
The job’s just too hard to hard for him and his staff to do, Lott says.
The price tag for the city manager’s defiant decision: a $14,000 commission to be received by the consultant, plus $9,500 in expenses.
In August, the City Commission voted to require Lott to recruit hire departments rather than paying headhunters for their assistance.
“There two good things about that. It saves us roughly between $8,000 and $10,000 per position. Plus, the city manager knows he’s directly accountable because he did the actual hiring,” City Commissioner Roger Marietta said at the time.
In recent years, Lott paid headhunter Bob Slavin, who recruited Lott to Albany, more than $60,000 to help with key hires. Slavin helped lure Buie, ousted police chief James Younger and fired finance director Robert Jones to Albany, and his nationwide searches resulted in the hiring of locals Jim Taylor and Wes Smith as assistant city managers.
Lott says, however, that Slavin botched the criminal background check of Buie by failing to reveal that Buie was a convicted felon when he was hired. Buie is serving a one-year jail term for public corruption that occurred in the city manager’s office.
Lott says he will use another headhunting firm, Mercer Group, to help recruit a new downtown manager.
By Kevin Hogencamp