Erica Parish has been serving as interim director of Cobb County's transportation department since the former director resigned in April 2018.
Photo: Cobb County Government
Photo: Cobb County Government

Cobb to name DOT director after last one resigned with ‘stress issue’

Cobb County’s elected officials are set to approve a permanent director of transportation half a year after the last one resigned.

Erica Parish was serving as interim director after Jim Wilgus cited “stress issues” as contributing to why he was left in April.

Parish came to Cobb in 2016 from Paulding County's transportation department, where she was their pre-construction manager.

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“We look forward to her continued contributions to making Cobb the best place to live, work and play,” said Cobb’s County Manager Rob Hosack.

Hosack, who himself was appointed in May 2017, ran the search for a new transportation director to oversee the state’s third most populated county with three-quarters of a million residents.

Wilgus took the transportation role in 2016 after serving seven months as interim director following Faye DiMassimo’s departure for the city of Atlanta. He was previously a city engineer for the city of Marietta. 

This is the resignation letter of Jim Wilgus, Cobb County's former department of transportation.

When he came on, Wilgus had the task of implementing the traffic plan around the Braves’ SunTrust Park, which was paved with tough conversations at all levels of government and business.

“I now feel that I can no longer effectively run the DOT as it should be run to meet the transportation challenges ahead. The stress of the job has put too much pressure on my family and me,” part of his resignation letter reads.

With his salary of $144,707 a year, Wilgus presented the Cobb plan to push gameday baseball traffic off highways and onto local streets; Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul called it “our nightmare.”

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Traffic tensions with Sandy Springs have always been high, including the time in 1997 when someone shot a traffic control box during a petty back-and-forth between the municipalities.

Aside from all that baggage, Wilgus had natural pressures like snowstorms and tropical storms.

Cobb commissioners will vote on Parish during its Nov. 13 meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. in the commission chambers at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.

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