City sets plan for manager selection

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- The city commission has set the dates for when it plans to interview the finalists vying to become city manager.

According to documents filed with the city, the commission will interview Barbara W. Lipscomb, James C. Payne and James Taylor Saturday beginning at 12:45 p.m. before meeting the following Monday at noon to discuss their opinions of the three.

The commission announced the three on March 24. According to Georgia law, the commission could legally hire a replacement for former city manager Alfred Lott as early as Thursday. The Georgia Open Records Act says that records pertaining to finalists must be released at least 14 calendar days before a board votes to hire.

Lipscomb is currently the city manager of Casselberry Fla., near Orlando, which has a population of 25,000 and a budget of $40.5 million.

Before that, she served as assistant city manager of Gainesville, Fla., from 2004-07, including a stint as the city's interim city manager, 2004-05. She was assistant city manager, deputy city manager and assistant to the city manager in Lakeland, Fla., 1986-2004, and worked in several capacities -- management analyst, acting executive assistant to the city manager and administrative assistant, Community Enrichment Services Group with the government in Grand Rapids, Mich, 1982-86.

She has a master of regional planning from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor's in geography and political science from the University of Georgia. She has been a member of ICMA since 2004 and is a certified public manager from Florida State University.

Her background check revealed no civil, criminal, traffic or bankruptcy records and her credit rating was listed as "very good."

Payne has been a partner with Precision Organizing and Records Management in Rio Rancho, N.M., since October 2008. Before that, he was Rio Rancho city manager, 2007-08; Waukesha, Wis., city administrator, 1999-2007, and Franklin, Wis., business administrator, 1986-99.

After serving as a management intern in Maricopa County, Ariz., in 1976, Payne was system coordinator, LOGIS, Minnesota in 1977-79 and assistant to the city manager of Roseville, Minn., 1979-82.

Payne has a master of public administration from Arizona State University and a bachelor's in modernization processes (political science) from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He's been a member of the International City/County Management Association for 30 years and is an ICMA credentialed manager.

Payne's background check also shows him with a "very good" credit rating and no records related to criminal, bankruptcy or traffic cases. He was a defendant in a civil action in 1997 in Franklin, N.M. Payne said the suit was filed by residents near a quarrying operation after the City Council approved a quarry expansion, and that he was named "only in my official capacity as city administrator and city clerk." The suit was dismissed by the court.

Taylor has served as assistant city manager in Albany since March 2006 and was tapped to head the city on an interim basis when City Manager Alfred Lott left the job on March 2.

Before joining the city, Taylor was director of government and military affairs for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and its Economic Development Commission, 2005-06; consultant to the Southwest Georgia Alliance for Progress, 2002-05; CEO of Goodwill Industries of South GA, 1998-2001.

Before that, Taylor was director of the Maintenance Center housed on Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, 1995-98, and was director of maintenance policy at the center in 1993-95. He has a master's degree from Central Michigan University and a bachelor's degree from Johnson C. Smith University of Charlotte, N.C. He had post-graduate studies in foreign policy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the Army Advanced Logistics Course, marines Corps Command and Staff College and Commander Course and Commanders Public Affairs Course while in the military. A certified arbitrator, Taylor's background check showed no records of criminal, civil, traffic or bankruptcy problems and stated he has a "very good" credit rating.