Former City Administrator Fred Russell hasn’t been sitting still since the Augusta Commission fired him in December.
Russell’s name was included on a short list of 19 applicants for city manager of Cincinnati, according to a list released to area media outlets last week. He didn’t get the job.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley selected Baltimore Finance Director Harry Black for the manager’s position, and a majority of city council members support the choice. Black will be paid $240,000.
The Cincinnati list described the Augusta administrator of 10 years as chief executive officer of “The F L Russell Group LLC,” a Georgia limited liability company. The LLC filing was prepared by Russell’s colleague on several city development deals, attorney Jim Plunkett.
In a brief e-mail exchange, Russell said he was contacted by a headhunter about the Cincinnati search but hadn’t heard back from the city. He’s been “doing some races” lately and “trying to find a niche that I can survive in,” but said continuing comments made by some city commissioners about him seem to be hurting his chances of finding a new job.
Russell, who is a cycling enthusiast, has a Twitter feed that includes summertime photos of an “office” at Phinizy Swamp, oysters on the half shell in Washington, D.C., and retweets from bike races.
Russell briefly considered a run for Augusta mayor after his termination took effect Jan. 1, but later withdrew from the race.
The commission hasn’t replaced Russell, and two interim administrators, Tameka Allen and Steve Cassell, remain in charge of day-to-day government operations.
Despite a nationwide search that produced three finalists, the Augusta Commission voted to terminate the search process July 23 after Mayor Deke Copenhaver was unable to secure a majority of six commission votes to hire former Taos, N.M., Town Manager Oscar Rodriguez.