Finalist sees 'good fit' in Albany

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Barbara Lipscomb, a candidate to become the Albany's next city manager, said Friday that she was proud to be under consideration for the position and believes Albany would be a good fit for her.

Speaking in her first interview since being named as a finalist for the job Thursday night, Lipscomb described herself as a "workaholic" who strives to be innovative and forward-thinking in her approach to municipal government.

Lipscomb was named, along with interim Albany City Manager James Taylor and Rio Rancho, N.M., businessman James Payne, as a finalist for the position vacated by Alfred Lott on March 2.

The Casselberry, Fla., city manager, Lipscomb oversees a $40.5 million general government budget, as well as all general, day-to-day operations of city government in the town of 25,000 people.

While most of her 30-plus years in municipal government have been in Florida, Lipscomb started as a management analyst for the city of Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1982.

In May 1986, she was hired by Lakeland, Fla., where she worked as an assistant city manager, deputy city manager and assistant to the city manager from May 1986 through February 2004.

In February 2004, she was hired by the city of Gainesville, Fla., as an assistant city manager. In October 2004, she was appointed interim city manager to oversee city operations when there was a vacancy and reassumed the roles of the assistant in September 2005.

She was hired as city manager in Casselberry in January 2007.

Lipscomb is a 1973 graduate of the University of Georgia where she got her bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Political Science.

She then enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., where she graduated in 1975 with her masters degree in Regional Planning.

Lipscomb said Friday that she guides her professional life largely by one simple statement.

"Bloom where God plants you," she said. "I've been around, but generally if you work hard and treat people right, you'll be successful. I've been fortunate to have great support from our staff and employees here."

She believes her strengths lie in her community development skills, economic development and her ability to work well with those in and out of municipal government such as state and federal government representatives.

One trait she believes could benefit her, particularly in consideration for the Albany job, is that she's had upper-level management experience in politically, socially, racially and economically diverse communities.

"From Grand Rapids to Gainesville and now to Casselberry, I've had the fortune to work in communities with very diverse populations from many different perspectives," Lipscomb said.

The City Commission will likely interview each of three candidates at some point within the next 14 business days.