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Russell remains finalist for post

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The search for a Sarasota County, Fla., administrator has narrowed, but the pool of finalists continues to include Augusta City Administrator Fred Russell.

On Sunday, finalist Jim Chisholm, city manager in Daytona Beach, Fla., withdrew his name from consideration, according to Sarasota County Communications Director Crystal Pruitt.

That leaves seven finalists, including Russell, for consideration at a Tuesday meeting of the five-member Sarasota County Commission.

The Mercer Group, an Atlanta-based executive search firm, conducted the search and included Russell among nine candidates it recommended from 49 who responded for the Sarasota Commission to review.

Chisholm’s withdrawal from consideration follows that of John Eskilson, county administrator of Sussex County, N.J.

Russell goes up against Eric Johnson, an assistant administrator in Hillsborough County, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla., City Administrator Edward Mitchell; Alachua County, Fla., Manager Randall Reid; former Longboat Key, Fla., manager Bruce St. Denis; York County, S.C., Manager James E. Baker and Hernando County, Fla., Administrator David N. Hamilton.

In his application packet, Russell lists more than $150 million in water and sewer upgrades and construction of five fire stations, the new Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center, a marshal’s substation, the TEE Center and its parking deck among his accomplishments in Augusta.

The Sarasota County commission is expected to evaluate the remaining finalists during a 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting, which will be streamed live at scgov.net, Pruitt said.

Russell said Monday he’d yet to hear anything from Sarasota County about being a finalist.

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Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 11/07/11 - 01:49 pm
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So, the more pork you have on

So, the more pork you have on the resume, the better? Wow.

countyman
19117
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countyman 11/07/11 - 02:49 pm
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I think the issue of pork

I think the issue of pork works both ways. Too much pork on non-essential projects isn't a good idea.. Cities still need to get certain projects accomplished.. I don't think anybody can deny more things have gotten accomplished lately.. The TEE center, library, parking deck, judicial center, wastewater plant, sheriff's office, village at riverwatch, etc..

I hope Fred mentioned the library in his resume. Definitely one of the best looking new buildings downtown. The judicial center is nice, and did received an award from CMAA.. The building could be a little taller along with sprucing up the bland Walton Way side..

Sweet son
9682
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Sweet son 11/07/11 - 02:50 pm
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I hope Fred gets the job and

I hope Fred gets the job and that he gets a 'decent' group of people to work with. I believe that he has just tried to do his job and that a few take great pleasure in trying to make him look bad. I am sure that you all know which ones that I am referring to. All they ever want to do is have it their way or else! The 'else' usually includes threats. Go get it Fred and don't look back.

slickrayder
33
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slickrayder 11/07/11 - 03:06 pm
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yeah i hope he gets the job

yeah i hope he gets the job also ,,maybe he will be able to aquire some AIR RIGHTS for florida also,,lmao..he is a joke .

Augusta resident
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Augusta resident 11/07/11 - 03:14 pm
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How is the village at

How is the village at riverwatch an accomplishment? The Bass Pro Shop looks more like a Costco. Can we help Fred pack?

Cynical old woman
1090
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Cynical old woman 11/07/11 - 03:18 pm
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Good bye good riddance!

Good bye good riddance!

countyman
19117
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countyman 11/07/11 - 03:48 pm
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The property used to be

The property used to be nothing but empty weeds and producing zero revenue..

The Costco (first outside of metro Atlanta) development alone is between $17-$23 million and around 200 new jobs.. I believe the pay at the Augusta location starts at $11 or $12 per hour. The recently completed extension of Alexander rd makes room for 115 acres of new hotels, restaurants, retail, etc... Richmond County is listed under future locations on the Bass Pro website, and they may end up returning to the VAR property.. Bass Pro may build in the Carmax area aka Wheeler Town Park in West Augusta, either way the VAR will do just fine.. Google the Village at Allen, Uptown Village at Cedar Hill, and Village at Fairview. Three projects similar to the VAR created by the same group(MGHerring).

eagle
94
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eagle 11/07/11 - 03:43 pm
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If he gets the job, he'll
Unpublished

If he gets the job, he'll have great weather and wonderful beaches.

Sweet son
9682
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Sweet son 11/07/11 - 03:47 pm
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Well I am sure that any of

Well I am sure that any of you Fred haters could run in and do a better with our disfunctional county government. When the job if posted if it is then jump into the fire!

Brad Owens
4098
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Brad Owens 11/07/11 - 04:42 pm
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Sweet son, I could, but no

Sweet son, I could, but no thanks.

Brad

Little Lamb
43821
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Little Lamb 11/07/11 - 05:00 pm
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countyman wrote: The [Village

countyman wrote:

The [Village at Riverwatch] property used to be nothing but empty weeds and producing zero revenue.

Well the empty weeds were there only because a developer cut down and cleared a beautiful hardwood forest there, a forest harboring much wildlife. The develper also filled in a small creek running through the property.

Little Lamb
43821
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Little Lamb 11/07/11 - 05:03 pm
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So Russell lists all the

So Russell lists all the government buildings that have been built under his tenure. I hope he did not list his do-nothing attitude toward employee motivation and performance, fostering a "What, me work?" attitude from top to bottom in city government.

Little Lamb
43821
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Little Lamb 11/07/11 - 05:19 pm
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From another poster whose

From another poster whose posts show up on the Discussion page, but don't make it to the story page — ripjones256 posted at 4:06 —

Sorry LL - the work ethic was promoted by the Commission, before Fred even took the reins. I do however agree about the RiverWatch statement.

Yes, city employees had a poor work ethic long before Russell got the administrator job, but what I'm talking about is that Russell never tried to improve it. He was (and is) a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" manager. A city administrator should be out walking around and observing how his workers are doing; praising those who need praising and prodding those who need prodding.

Augusta resident
1368
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Augusta resident 11/07/11 - 09:05 pm
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Please refresh my memory. We

Please refresh my memory. We were told there would be a high end shopping center not a grocery store you have to pay to shop at. Seems like I remember the developer getting tired of the county changing it's mind and walked off of the job pending the county gets it's stuff together. The future location of Bass Pro Shops sign was taken down and replaced witha Costco sign. So is Fred responsible for that or not? He gets credit if everything else worked out, right? Is that being a good steward of taxpayers money? Is there going to be a hotel in my backyard so my taxes can go up? I havn't been to a library in 30 years. Is Carmax in Richmond County? Why does the Sherriff have to cut his budget if we have all this tax revenue going around?

countyman
19117
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countyman 11/07/11 - 10:06 pm
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You have to pay to shop at

You have to pay to shop at every grocery store. I don't know if you referring to Costco, but they sell much more than groceries.. The VAR is a total of 115 acres and Costco is one store.. The development will include specialty retail.. I don't defending Fred, but clearly reporting the facts..

Carmax is located in West Augusta which lies within Richmond county. Richmond County built Mason Mcknight Jr parkway. The Wheeler Town Park development was a 300k sq. ft. center before the recession. Gander Mountain and Nothern Toole were both coming..

Richmond County is still listed under future locations on the Bass Pro's website.. More than likely Bass Pro is opening in the VAR, WTP, or along the I-20/Walton way Extension area..

Little Lamb
43821
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Little Lamb 11/08/11 - 09:07 am
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And to add to Augusta

And to add to Augusta Resident's question, Why does the Sheriff have to cut his budget while the commission is buying up property downtown one parcel at a time? Our government is not transparent at all. They are buying parcels all around the city, taking property off the tax rolls, with no mention of the purpose.

The latest revelation is that the city bought the old WAGT property downtown, but no one knows why? Our commissioners have become land speculators.

shrimp for breakfast
5422
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shrimp for breakfast 11/08/11 - 09:11 am
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Out of the 30 BROKEST cities

Out of the 30 BROKEST cities in America Augusta Ga is#10.
Not something you want to put on your resume.

scoopdedoop64
2353
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scoopdedoop64 11/08/11 - 11:19 am
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Sometimes when we get what we

Sometimes when we get what we want it is not better at all but worse. For example it is very possible that all the "lets get rid of Russell" people may find that they wish they had him back if we get an administrator who does a worse job. I am not defending him but I do think it is wrong to blame all of the city's woes upon him like a scapegoat. A vast majority of what he does has been approved by the commissioners. As for Mr. Russell I am sure the idea of getting another job sounds good especially since he could rub it in the face of all those who have given him a hard time. Who doesn't wish they could tell their boss to shove it once in a while. But Mr. Russell should be careful and do his homework because sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

LouLou
6
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LouLou 11/08/11 - 02:05 pm
0
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Seeing his frown and

Seeing his frown and listening to his sour remarks makes you wonder if he's not happy with himself! Go figure

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