Athens-Clarke County Manager Resigns After Eight Years of Service

Athens-Clarke County Manager Resigns After Eight Years of Service
Blaine Williams (photo courtesy of ACCGov)

At their Regular Session voting meeting on June 5, 2024, the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov) Mayor and Commission entered into an agreement to accept Manager Blaine Williams’ resignation.

As part of the agreement, Williams will remain Manager until July 12, 2024 to assist during a transitional period until an Acting Manager is named. He will also receive a severance of approximately $110,600.

“After eight years of dedicated service as the ACCGov Manager, I have made the heartfelt decision to resign from my position,” said Williams. “My decision is driven by a sincere desire to explore new opportunities for personal and professional growth. I am deeply grateful to the present and past elected leaders for the absolute privilege to serve the public in this capacity. As I step down, I do so with a sense of immense accomplishment in all that we’ve achieved together with our incredible and committed staff. Knowing the good work that is both ongoing and planned, I will watch the continued growth and success of our community with genuine excitement.”

Williams was appointed as the fourth manager of ACCGov in April 2016 after previously serving as the assistant manager since January 2013. As per the Athens-Clarke County Code of Ordinances, Charter Officer positions are approved by the Mayor and Commission and contracted for two-year periods with a re-appointment option after each term. In 2023, the Mayor and Commission unanimously voted to extend Williams’ employment contract for an additional two years.

Some of the notable accomplishments ACCGov achieved during Williams’ eight-year term include but are not limited to receiving its first ever AAA bond rating, the strongest level of government bond ratings; launching the Sustainability Office, Geospatial Information Office, and Inclusion Office; obtaining an Insurance Services Office (ISO) fire rating score in 2019 of Class 1, which less than 1% of communities in the United States had achieved; acquiring the rock quarry to provide future water independence and resiliency for the next 100 years; expanding the multiuse trail system and completing the Firefly Trail Bridge over Trail Creek; and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and historic attrition to provide uninterrupted and high quality service delivery.

Mayor Kelly Girtz notes that, “In my 25 years working in the public sector, no colleague has ever strived for more than Blaine Williams. He is dedicated, creative, and Athens has much to show for his good work. He has helped lead us through unprecedented challenges, an era of enormous growth, and helped spur a community with gains in both the economic and social wellbeing of our residents.”

The Manager’s Office is responsible for the implementation of all policies, programs, contracts, ordinances, and resolutions as approved and directed by the Mayor and Commission. The Office oversees the day-to-day operations of ACCGov’s 25 main departments, offices, and divisions under the Manager’s Office and also works as a direct liaison with the other 15 departments and offices administered by elected and appointed officials.

Mayor Girtz will recommend an Acting Manager to the Commission next week, to be followed by a national search for a permanent Manager.

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