Roosevelt Council, who cleared the first hurdle Wednesday to become general manager of the world’s busiest airport, said he plans to focus on operations and a just-launched $6 billion expansion and modernization program.
“Over the next five to six years our focus will clearly be on working this $6 billion capital improvement plan,” Council said. “But it’s also to continue all of the efforts that we have around our expansion, our customer service and our operational efficiency.”
He was nominated for the general manager position by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed after being interim general manager since May, when Reed fired the airport’s former general manager Miguel Southwell.
Atlanta city council transportation committee members on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of Council’s appointment, which is set to go before the full council in early January.
Committee member Keisha Lance Bottoms commended Council: “Anytime you have an interim who has been able to work under someone, it really speaks volumes to your character.”
Others say it also would have been difficult for the city to recruit an airport manager from elsewhere to come to Atlanta, given that the mayor has only a year left in his term and the next mayor might want his or her own pick.
Council member Felicia Moore said the appointment maintains some continuity at the airport, “keeping things going.”
Council will be paid a salary of $221,000, the same he has been making as interim general manager and the same salary Southwell and his predecessor, Louis Miller, were paid.
Council had been the airport’s chief financial officer and deputy general manager before being named to the interim GM post. Previously, he was the city of Atlanta’s interim chief financial officer, and was a budget and fiscal policy chief and deputy chief financial officer under former Mayor Shirley Franklin.
Before joining the city of Atlanta in 2009, Council was chief financial officer of the Georgia Technology Authority. Born in Mississippi, Council graduated from Memphis State University.
“He’s really put forward an exceptional job since being named interim general manager and we believe he is the right person to lead the airport going forward,” said the city’s human resources commissioner Yvonne Yancy.
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