Albany City Commission selects interim city manager

Alan Mauldin Author email, The Albany Herald, Ga.
·3 min read

Mar. 27—ALBANY — When the city of Albany was seeking a new assistant city manager at the end of 2020, Steven Carter was "the leader of the pack," City Manager Sharon Subadan said at the time.

Carter has continued to impress, and the city turned to him on Friday to fill Subadan's shoes when she leaves for a job in Douglasville.

The Albany City Commission selected Carter with a unanimous vote during a Friday meeting, and he will serve as interim manager until the position is filled

Carter was one of two candidates commissioners interviewed on Thursday. Officials declined to name the other applicant interviewed for the position, but sources with knowledge of the meeting said the second candidate was the city's other assistant city manager, Ken Stock.

Commissioners also agreed to increase Carter's salary by $2,000 per month during the period he takes on the additional duties beginning April 17.

Subadan, who was hired in 2015, tendered her resignation last week to take the job as county administrator in Douglas County.

Because of Subadan's leadership, the city has in place a talented staff of managers and department heads, any one of whom would be qualified to take the reins until the position is filled, Ward IV Commissioner Chad Warbington said.

"We were looking for somebody who can step in immediately," he said during a telephone interview after the meeting. "There's not going to be a lot of time for training. We're really looking at somebody who can hit the ground running."

Prior to being named one of two assistant city managers in December, Carter served as chief information officer in the city's Technology and Communications Department. During the selection process for that job, 22 qualified applicants were identified, and after a list of 10 applicants was identified, a total of five were interviewed.

"Steven Carter distinguished himself as the leader of the pack," Subadan said at the time. "He is not an unknown quantity to us."

While Carter was not his first choice, Commissioner Jon Howard said he was casting his vote for Carter to show a united front.

"(It's) in the spirit of cooperation that I will vote with the majority that Mr. Carter will fill in until we hire a city manager," he said. "I feel he can jump on that horse and ride him until we find another city manager."

Warbington said that it was a good sign that commissioners were able to coalesce around a single candidate.

"It shows we all have our own opinion," he said. "At the end of the day, it's important for the commission to be unified, especially on such an important decision. I would say the process was very deliberative. There was a significant time of interviews, a significant time of discussion."

The pay increase was necessary "because being city manager is a 24/7 job," Warbington said. The search process for a permanent manager should be a relatively brief one, officials said, perhaps about two months.

Commissioner B.J. Fletcher said she agreed that the unanimous vote was significant. During the interview process, she said Carter proved to be the stronger candidate to her.

In his current position, Carter is involved in some of the larger projects under way in the city, including the installation of new digital utility meters and the combined stormwater/sewage system, Fletcher said. Carter also will play a large role in producing a budget, which must be approved by June 31.

"Steven Carter, from what I hear, is a great communicator," she said during a telephone interview. "He is not a micromanager. In every category, he seemed to be the stronger candidate.

"Sharon Subadan will tie everything up in a nice package. She has left us with a huge amount of department heads and managers that can carry on. Department heads say she was tough, but she was good."