Water, Gas & Light in Albany
ALBANY, Ga. -- Water, Gas & Light staff will have an opportunity to discuss ways they think interim General Manager James Taylor can better do his job today during the final day of a two-day retreat conducted by Taylor and the WG&L board.
The five-member board -- Bob Hutchinson, Morris Gurr, Judith Corbett, Chad Warbington and Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard -- met with Taylor and other utility officials Friday at WG&L's Lily Pond Road facilities to discuss issues such as the future of the utility's telecom component, organizational structure and the hiring of a permanent general manager.
The board also heard presentations by officials with Electric Cities of Georgia and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG). WG&L is a member of both groups.
"Organizational structure is an important component that we will discuss," Taylor said before Friday's session. "There is overlap now with the city of Albany, and we'll talk about ways to best utilize our personnel.
"I also think it's important to have policy documents in place for any part of the organization that is unique to WG&L. Right now, policy is decided by the board at the (monthly) meetings. There needs to be documents in place outlining policy so that when I'm long gone, future (officials) will have a basis for decisions that are made."
Taylor said he's very interested in getting input on the hiring of a general manager to replace long-time GM Lemuel Edwards, who retired in February.
"I'm not real sure where we need to go with this right now," Taylor said. "My gut feeling is that if I stay a while, I may end up being the (interim Dougherty County School System Superintendent) Butch Mosely who goes in and cleans house and then we can bring in someone else to run things.
"Or we could bring in another Butch Mosely to clean things up before we hire a permanent GM. The final decision is ultimately mine because it will take me making a commitment to stay (at WG&L) during that period. But I want input from the board before a final decision is made."
Taylor said he'll "step away for a while" today to allow staff to discuss ways he might do things differently as head of the utility.
"I want it to be a frank, open discussion, so I'll leave while they talk," he said. "I don't want them to feel any pressure; I want them to feel free to say what's on their mind. It will essentially be a team-building session."
Taylor said discussion during the two-day retreat is the beginning of what he hopes will be ongoing dialogue between board members and WG&L management and personnel.