William P. "Bill" Shanahan began work Monday after the commission voted 7-3 last month to hire him at a salary of $117,500.
Shanahan, who comes to Augusta after nearly seven years as city manager of St. Marys, Ga., spent most of his first two days meeting city staffers.
"There is just a lot of work going on in the city, and everyone seems to be real positive and real motivated, and they all care about the citizens," Shanahan said. "So that's a great first two days."
The son of a New Yorker and a Liverpudlian, Shanahan grew up in Liverpool, England, feeling like the only boy there "not related to The Beatles," he said.
Shanahan retired from the Air Force and has worked in Georgia municipal governments since 1996, according to his résumé.
The soccer fan and former boxer said that his wife and the youngest of his four children, a junior in high school, soon will join him in Augusta.
Shanahan replaces retiring Deputy Administrator Robert Leverett, who served as warden at Richmond County Correctional Institution for many years after joining local government in 1971.
Shanahan will work as deputy administrator for operations, overseeing emergency services such as fire, the correctional institution, Emergency Management and animal services in addition to the solid waste, recreation, utilities and engineering departments, Russell said.
Deputy Administrator Tameka Allen will continue to supervise the city's other branch of government, which includes information technology, housing and community development, procurement, customer service and transit, Russell said. Allen, who joined the city in 1992, also directs the IT department.
Though city employees have been under a raise freeze for several years, Shanahan begins work on at a higher salary than Allen and his predecessor. This year, however, Shanahan will be subject to the 1.88 percent reduction that commissionrecently approved in the form of five furlough days.
He comes on during a challenging time for city government as the commission struggles to approve a government reorganization plan devised by Russell.
During its first phase, the plan will eliminate two department and at least 26 currently filled positions, including two department heads.