Andrew Parker named next Dalton city administrator, will begin in August

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Jul. 9—Dalton Mayor David Pennington said during his time on the City Council he has been very impressed not only by Public Works Director Andrew Parker's project management abilities but his people skills.

Pennington pointed specifically to the city's 2020 modification of its rubbish and yard trimmings ordinance, which spelled out more clearly what the city will and will not pick up and asked the citizens to call ahead for pickup.

"Any time you make a big change like that, it's going to upset some people," Pennington said. "Andrew spearheaded that effort, and I know he got a lot of the calls that complained. He handled them well. He explained why we were making the changes and really made everything as smooth as it could be."

On Tuesday, City Council members voted 4-0 to name Parker the next city administrator. Pennington typically votes only if there is a tie.

Council members named Parker the sole finalist for the position June 21. Current City Administrator Jason Parker (no relation) retires on Aug. 12.

Andrew Parker has been with the Public Works Department since 2010 and has been director since 2019.

"I'm excited," said Andrew Parker. "I'm grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to serving with the other department heads to continue to deliver excellent services to residents of the city of Dalton."

City Council member Annalee Harlan said the fact that Dalton was once again able to find a city administrator from among its department heads (Jason Parker was serving as police chief when named administrator) is "proof that the city does things in an elite fashion."

"We have the best people, and we are fortunate that the torch is being passed from one accomplished public servant to another," she said.

City Council member Gary Crews said as director of the Public Works Department Andrew Parker has been very involved in planning a number of major projects that the city has in the works, from an aquatic center planned for near Dalton Mall to various stormwater control efforts.

"He'll be changing roles, obviously, but there will be less than a learning curve for him than if we brought in someone from outside," Crews said.

Tuesday's meeting was the final meeting for council member Derek Waugh. Marist School in Atlanta named Waugh, the former athletics director of Dalton State College, as its new athletics director in March and he is leaving to take that position.

"When I got to Dalton (in 2012) Andrew was one of the first people I dealt with," Waugh said.

Waugh said he wanted to get signs on I-75 noting Dalton State College as home of the Roadrunners and Andrew Parker helped him get them.

"He's going to be an excellent administrator," he said.

Andrew Parker will be paid $130,000 annually as city administrator.

Council members also held the first reading of an ordinance that would allow the city to demolish residential properties that are uninhabitable without having to have them condemned. Andrew Parker told council members that the property owner would have to agree to the demolition and agree to compensate the city for the cost of carrying the debris to the landfill.

Andrew Parker said the law could speed up the cleanup of such properties and save the city the legal costs of going to court to condemn the properties. The council members are expected to vote on the ordinance at their Monday, July 19, meeting.

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