Longtime Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss (right) announcing her retirement from the city. Mayor Patti Garrett (left) hopes a replacement’s on board by Jan. 1. Bill Banks file photo for the AJC

Decatur still on track for new city manager starting Jan. 1

Decatur is still looking at next Jan 1 as the start date for its new city manager. In July longtime manager Peggy Merriss publically announced her retirement from the city, proclaiming her final day as Dec. 31.

Decatur has since hired the Northbrook, IL.-based GovHR USA to conduct a national search for Merriss’ replacement. Earlier this week GovHR USA President Heidi Voorhees said her firm was still working on a job description and brochure to send candidates. She added the job will likely get posted in the next two or three weeks.

The community can also provide input on qualities, skills and traits necessary in a new manager by going to www.decaturga.com/whats-new/open-city-hall.

“I think this is an outstanding opportunity for a [prospective city manager],” Voorhees said. “That’s a beautiful community, on the outside and on the inside, with the neighborhood festivals, vibrant downtown and dedicated staff. I think [Decatur’s] administrative stability makes that job particularly attractive.”

Merriss has been city manager for 25½ years, but was initially hired by Decatur as an employment service officer in August 1983, two weeks after her 22nd birthday. Decatur has had only two city managers since 1972.

Voorhees said her firm will also recruit prospective candidates at the International City/County Management Association’s annual international conference, Sept. 22-23 in Baltimore.

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