Appointments of Atlanta airport manager, police chief confirmed

Hartsfield-Jackson’s newly-named general manager Roosevelt Council

Hartsfield-Jackson’s newly-named general manager Roosevelt Council

One of the first tasks the Atlanta City Council tackled in the new year was to officially confirm two key appointments by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: the manager of the world’s busiest airport and the city’s new police chief.

Roosevelt Council and Erika Shields, who last month took on their new jobs as the airport general manager and the city's top cop, respectively, were unanimously approved Tuesday by council members.

“We’re looking forward to your continued leadership,” said Atlanta City Council president Ceasar Mitchell after a unanimous vote by city council confirming the airport manager’s appointment.

Council has said he plans to focus on operations and the airport’s $6 billion expansion and modernization. Hartsfield-Jackson handled close to 105 million passengers in 2016.

“It meant a lot to me to have this entrusted to me by the mayor,” Council said. “The biggest challenge is to not allow any retreat on the efficiencies we’ve put in place.”

Council has been interim general manager of the Atlanta airport since May, when Reed fired the airport’s former general manager Miguel Southwell.

Before being named interim general manager, Council was the airport's chief financial officer. He was previously the city of Atlanta's interim chief financial officer and was a deputy chief financial officer under former Mayor Shirley Franklin. Council was born in Mississippi and graduated from Memphis State University.

Council’s salary is $221,000, the same pay earned by the previous two airport general managers.

Shields had been the Atlanta Police Department’s deputy police chief until being promoted to the top job on Dec. 28. A 21-year veteran of the force, Shields is the second woman in the role.

Reed appointed Shields after Chief George Turner announced in early December that he planned to retire. Turner was interim police chief for six months before Reed gave him the job permanently in mid-2010, the mayor’s first year in office.

Shields, who holds a bachelor of arts in international studies from Webster University and a master’s in criminal justice from Saint Leo University, will be paid an annual salary of $200,211, the city said, down from the $240,697 Turner earned annually.