By Valerie Baldowski
Stockbridge Mayor Lee Stuart said there are no immediate plans to begin a search for a new city manager, at least for the time being. "We need to re-assess where we are," the mayor said.
After two decades of service as city manager, Ted Strickland died March 14. Strickland's health had prevented him from working in February, noted Stockbridge City Clerk Merle Manders. His formal letter of resignation was read during the March 8 city council meeting.
Stuart said Strickland kept many of his job responsibilities to himself, and few of his duties were formally printed out for others to read.
"Nothing's written down," said Stuart. It was all locked up in his head. There were no written procedures or policies. We're starting from scratch."
In December, the Stockbridge City Council approved hiring Ray Gibson, formerly with the Henry County Planning and Zoning Services Department, as assistant city manager to Strickland.
Stuart said he and Gibson are trying to get themselves up to speed.
"It's a straight-up learning curve," Stuart said. "One of the things he [Strickland] was going to do, was to ride around and show [Gibson] and me the layout of the city. We never even got to do that."
When Strickland was managing the city, city council members were not included in routine city e-mail communications, said the mayor, but they have now been added to the e-mail list.
The mayor said he is in the midst of learning what Strickland's responsibilities were, some of which included handling employee vacation policies, departmental paperwork, property lines within the city limits, procedures on contacting the city attorney, and strategic plans for the city.