The Powder Springs City Council on Monday switched the role of Brad Hulsey—who served as the city's mayor for four years—from interim city manager to the long-term position.
"We interviewed many good candidates who were equally qualified with varying levels of education and experience," Councilman Chris Wizner wrote in a Local Voice column. "However, after much consideration and asking myself who would I feel most comfortable working with in the future as our city manager, I felt that Mr. Hulsey was the best all round candidate for the position."
Hulsey beat out roughly 50 initial applicants and two other finalists: Raymon Gibson, who most recently served as city administrator for the city of Stockbridge for a year; and Terry Todd, whose most recent job was the city manager for the city of Palmetto for four years.
The appointment—which comes with a $104,000 annual salary—was made on a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Nancy Hudson against, the Marietta Daily Journal reports. She declined to elaborate on her vote to the paper after the meeting.
Hulsey was making $72,000 in the interim role, which he started after leaving his insurance business Brad A. Hulsey & Associates. His application says that at the business, as president and CEO over eight sales agents, he made $48,000 a year—meaning his salary has more than doubled in less than a year.
Wizner said the choice will likely be followed by criticism because of the job description's qualifications: "bachelor's degree in public administration or related field; master's degree in public administration preferred; eight years of increasingly responsible experience in municipal or county government, including five years in a senior management role; or equivalent combination of education and local government experience."
Hulsey has a high school diploma, took classes from Floyd Junior College and Georgia State University, and his government experience includes being a Rockmart councilman, Powder Springs councilman (1996-99) and mayor (2000-04), and the city's interim city manager since February.
Gibson has a master's in business administration from Columbia Southern University, and his government experience includes Stockbridge's city administrator and assistant city manager, and Henry County Department of Planning & Zoning's director, assistant director, planner and chief planner.
Todd has a master's in business administration from the University of West Florida, and his government experience includes Palmetto's city manager; a program director for government service provider CH2M Hill; Fulton County's deputy county manager and public works director; and the director of the Growth Management Department, director of the Environmental Resources Management Department, and a Public Works Department engineer for Escambia County, Florida.
Wizner pointed to the job description phrase "equivalent combination of education and local government experience" and noted that "the ultimate authority on qualifications for city manager is the City Charter section 2.27 that states, 'The mayor and city council shall appoint a city manager for an indefinite term and shall fix his compensation. The manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications and shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor and council.'"
In his seven months as interim city manager, Hulsey "has done an oustanding job," Wizner wrote. That job has included, among other things, balancing the fiscal 2013 budget.
Meanwhile, Wizner said, "he took employee moral that was very low and turned it around. He has been active in the community and responsive to citizen’s concerns and issues. He has worked with the department heads to provide the best services for the city of Powder Springs."
The former city manager, Rick Eckert, resigned in mid-February after nearly two years with the city but received his full pay through the end of May as a consultant.