Lott one of two finalists left for Savannah job

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- And then there were two.

The Savannah City Council voted Wednesday to whittle down its list of candidates for city manager from four to two, naming its interim city manager, Rochelle Small-Toney, and Albany City Manager Alfred Lott as the two remaining finalists.

Lott has resigned his position as city manager but has asked the Albany commission to stay on the job until after the budget process is completed this summer.

Lott and Small-Toney were selected along with two others as finalists for the position earlier this month. The other two candidates, Wayne Cauthen, the former city manager for Kansas City, Mo.; and Pat Digiovanni, the deputy city manager for San Antonio, Texas; were culled out of contention after the Savannah City Council met Wednesday.

The Savannah Morning News reported the decision was made to continue the process with Lott and Small-Toney despite concerns by some on the council that neither was the best candidate for the position.

The commission will now make trips to Albany and Small-Toney's hometown of Charlottesville, Va., before making a final job offer, the newspaper stated.

The Savannah council's attempt to hire a city manager has been a controversial matter since Small-Toney was selected as a finalist after it was revealed she had not secured a $50,000 bond as required by Savannah's city charter.

With bond now in hand, Small-Toney can be considered for the position.

Throughout the process, discussion about Lott has reportedly been the least controversial, although concerns about Lott's hiring practices -- including that of former downtown manager Don Buie -- have been aired publicly and privately during the city manager search process.

Meanwhile, the city of Albany's corporate headhunter has sent out the official job announcement for Lott's replacement.

Appearing on the Florida League of Cities website, the announcement lists the duties and responsibilities of the city manager and, more importantly, what the commission expects in its next manager.

"The City is looking for a strong but diplomatic manager who will embrace Albany and put his/her heart and energy into maintaining and improving what is already here. The individual will be a leader and not a bureaucrat. He/she will be open-minded, even-handed, progressive, proactive, knowledgeable, visionary and achievement-oriented as well as ethical, receptive to new ideas, firm but flexible, forward thinking, responsive and outgoing," an excerpt from the document reads.

The last sentence of the "Ideal Candidate" paragraph reads:

"The Commission is not expecting a miracle worker but rather someone who works hard and gets things done. It is expecting someone who works well with other governmental agencies."

The announcement states a bachelor's degree in an administration field, seven to 10 years of increasingly responsible experience as a senior government executive and at least five as a city manager or assistant city manager are required for the position, with a master's degree preferred.

The pay range stated in the announcement starts at $120,000 and is capped at $170,000.

The announcement also states that resumes should be sent in through February with interviews set for April 1.

Click here to view the job announcement.