Albany City Manager Al Lott is going away forever. You will never, in all your life, be as thrilled as I am at this news. Lott, a man who has ignored open record laws designed to make government accountable to the people and has made an annoying habit of discriminating against some employees. He’s been horrible in his job, and now we can move on.
It’s my sincerest hope that the City Commission doesn’t make a few mistakes that should be obvious at this point. If they can avoid those, we should be in good shape. At this point, those mistakes should seem obvious.
Number one is to avoid the headhunter services that managed to land us such catches as Lott and Don Buie. We have a human resources department for a reason after all. With the help of employment websites, they should be able to launch a nationwide search just fine.
Next, it’s obvious that before someone is considered a finalist for a job, a thorough background check needs to be conducted. The City of Savannah almost replicated our mistake in hiring Lott in the first place, partially because of headhunters and partially because they trusted those headhunters to do full background checks. They didn’t.
Background checks aren’t overly difficult, either. After a criminal background check is conducted (and make sure it goes as far back as humanly possible), do some actual checking to see if they were worth a darn in their previous jobs. Do a Google search, for Pete’s sake. You can learn a lot that way. In fact, we avoided a mistake with a potential employee that way not to long ago.
It’s imperative that we learn from our mistakes with regard to Lott. There is still hope for Albany, but it’s up to the City Commission. It’s a great chance for Albany to make some positive moves forward. Hopefully, we can seize this moment and make great things happen.
I’m not particularly confident, though. History seems to indicate that good things won’t come of this. Time will tell, and I hope my fears are misplaced. I’ve gotten where I don’t expect much, but I’m pretty pessimistic these days. Maybe this time, the City Commission will show me something new.
However, for just now, I’m going to bask in the beauty of a Lott-less Albany. That, for the moment, will be good enough. We’ll deal with what’s next shortly.
Written by Tom Knighton. Read his blog at TomKnighton.com, as well as SWGAPolitics.com. A lifelong political junkie, Tom started out his adult life as a journalism major at Darton College before leaving school to serve his nation as a U.S. Navy Corpsman. Through the years, he has watched government from outside and inside. A former Reagan supporter, then later a Democrat, Tom now finds himself quite comfortable as a card carrying Libertarian and currently serves as Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwest Georgia.