Eckert Resigns; Powder Springs Begins Search for Interim City Manager

He will continue as a consultant until May for the city.

The search for an interim city manager for Powder Springs is underway.

City Manager Rick Eckert, who started in May 2010 on a two-year contract at $115,000 annually, gave his two-week notice to the City Council at last week’s special called meeting, Councilman Chris Wizner confirmed to Patch.

“He’s done a good job. We had really no issues with his performance,” Wizner said, adding that Eckert will be leaving for family reasons.

Calls to Eckert since last week’s special meeting have not been returned.

In recent months, he has been a finalist for a few other manager positions, including Jackson and Butts counties, Colorado, and mostly recently McDonough.

Another finalist was picked for the Jackson job; as the sole finalist, Eckert turned down the Butts position; and he wasn’t picked in La Plata County, Colorado after being named the sole finalist there.

He withdrew his name from McDonough’s city administrator position earlier this week, McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland told Patch. Eckert had a “pretty good resume” and was “highly qualified” among the four finalists, he said.

But when Eckert noticed a friend was another one of the finalists, he withdrew his name, saying that his friend is someone he would pick himself, Copeland said.

If needed, Eckert will serve as a consultant for Powder Springs until May, when his contract is up, Wizner said.

The search for the interim city manager is in the “early search stage,” with a few possibilities out there, Wizner said, adding that someone taking over the role is needed “fairly quickly.”

The city will then begin a national search for a permanent city manager, Wizner said.

Former Councilman Tom Bevirt, who was replaced by Wizner as a result of November’s elections and attended his last meeting in late December, said the council was “not entirely pleased with his performance in the past few months.”

Bevirt said Eckert started with “high hopes” and “somehow or the other, he faltered towards the end.”

“Like any other employment situation when somebody decides to leave, that affects their performance for the job they’re at,” he said.

When Eckert began with Powder Springs in May 2010, he had to hurriedly prepare the budget that began two months later. He also helped the city prepare the current budget with no layoffs, furloughs or tax increases.

In an evaluation from last fall, City Council members recognized that Eckert spent “a great deal of time and attention” in the investigation into Richardson, as well as the hiring of the new chief and public works director.

Before Eckert, Vaughn had been acting city manager since November 2008, when City Manager Charles Nickerson was placed on leave and eventually fired, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says.

Vaughn also held the job on an interim basis from December 2005, after Dane Perry left, until Nickerson was hired in April 2007.

Dwayne February 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Now if we could only get Chief Sewell and Mayor Vaughn to resign.
ilovethelord February 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Guess the Mayor will "serve" as City Manager and be double dipping again!
James February 18, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I guess Mayor Pat heard you, because she told the MDJ she would not be the intriem manager.
James February 18, 2012 at 03:32 PM
In the article above it says, “Bevirt said Eckert started with “high hopes” and “somehow or the other, he faltered towards the end.” Why is that so? Is it because all of his ideas to save money were shot down by the mayor? Eckert has been looking for another job since he got there especially after he saw how she micromanaged. The new chief is running scared also, especially after his article in the paper. He got a phone call from the micromanager who told him she did not like what he said in the article. “Vaughn said she thought Eckert would want to return to Colorado, where much of his family lives.” If that were true, why was he applying for local positions? That was a “Freudian slip” relating to when Eckert unknowingly told a council member’s husband he was looking for a job in Colorado and the Mayor has been after him every since. She also said, “There is no controversy here,” she said. “There is no story. City managers typically stay three to five years.” I hope someone will call her on that statement since other than her combined time as interim manager, no one was there more than 2 years under her “Mayorship”. Why don’t other cities have the same recurring city manager vacancy?
BAndrew February 18, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Actually I think the Eckert was going a great job. He just could not live under the constant micro-managing of Queen Pat. That is also why we ended up with that non-police chief instead of the interim chief they had. The interim chief they had is far better for this community than Sewell, HE is actually a police officer (a MAJOR). Queen Pat and Sewell don't give a rat's tail about the community or the officers. Queen Pat is happy that she was re-elected and Sewell is happy he changed the uniforms. What a waste. By the way, just because she says she would not be the interim manager, does that make it so?
James February 18, 2012 at 09:54 PM
BAndrew, You hit the nail right on the head! Just because she says she is or is not going to do something dosen't make it true.
MsDuncan February 18, 2012 at 09:59 PM
“There is no controversy here,” she (Mayor Vaughn) said. “There is no story. City managers typically stay three to five years.” Just for the record, here are some local City Managers: City of Marietta: William Burton, from Jan, 2000 to present City of Acworth: Brian Bulthuis, from Oct, 1996 to present Cobb County County Manager: David Hankerson, from 1993 to present City of Smyrna, City Administrator: from Oct. 2009 to present Just where does she get her information from?
James February 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM
MsDuncan, Great and timely information. I think she makes it up as she goes, and if anyone disputes her it's, "Off with their heads."
Tea Man February 21, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Correct, before the last election she said they weren't even discussing raising their own pensions and called it slanderous to suggest it yet after one month of re-election what do they do? Raise their own pensions, a 30 year commitment that adds up to over $100,000 in unfunded taxpayer liability!
Tea Man February 21, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I think it is pretty clear to folks now that the reason for the resignations of 4 or 5 City Managers since the Pat has been in office has nothing to do with career mobility or pay, they can't work with this manipulative two faced micro-manager!
Pisces15 March 01, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Ever since Pat has been mayor, I have seen this town rapidly go down hill. She spends money needlessly such as the Lewis Road Folly, speed bumps and stop signs on Atlanta Street, which by the way is traveled very little,and let us not leave out brick cross walks that sink and have to be replaced. I ask her, how can you justify the Lewis Road Ext. How much traffic travels that road each day and how much traffic does it divert from Brownsville Road. Give me some statistics Please!! I bet that the answer is...little to no cars drive the Ext. and no decrease in traffic on Brownsville Road. So in the end, it was a total waste of funds. Mayor Vaughn, explain please!!! My question is...How the heck did she ever get re-elected?


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