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Augusta Commission members interview finalists for HR director job

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 7:20 PM
Last updated Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 1:37 AM
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One of two former military men experienced in local government human resources in Florida is likely to become Augusta’s new human resources director.

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George A. Williams  SUSAN McCORD/STAFF
SUSAN McCORD/STAFF
George A. Williams

The troubled city department has dwindled to about half its original size since August 2011, when former director Rod Powell abruptly resigned and commissioners began seriously considering outsourcing its functions, a decision they rejected in June.

Richard C. Anderson, a finalist who interviewed in Augusta on Monday, is a retired Army master sergeant who most recently worked as HR and administrative services director for Emerald Coast Utilities Authority in Pensacola, Fla., from July 2006 to January 2012. He now works as a consultant and Florida Supreme Court county mediator.

Anderson spoke frankly about Augusta government – “Your pay structure is antiquated,” he said – and about imposing tough anti-smoking and nepotism policies in previous positions during a Monday interview with Commissioners Jerry Brigham and Bill Lockett and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles.

“If you’re in HR, you don’t have anybody in the company that’s a relative,” Anderson said he once told an employee. His resume said he left Emerald Coast for “new challenges and job enlargement.”

The other finalist, George A. Williams, noted on his resume his last position as HR director with Tampa, Fla., International Airport “was not a good fit,” but he held an HR director job before in Tampa with Hillsborough County government for eight years.

Asked Wednesday by Brigham how he might last longer than most Augusta HR directors, Williams said he’d been warned of similar turnover in Hillsborough County before accepting that position. Augusta has had several HR directors since consolidation in 1996.

“I was there almost eight years and I left on my own,” he said. “It comes by way of me understanding the importance of quality human relations.”

Williams’ description of handling a sexual harassment complaint involving an Air Force colonel – he was pressured to change it but wouldn’t, and both he and the victim were punished with difficult assignments – struck a chord with Lockett, who retired from the Army.

“I have a strong core value, commissioner, regarding the treatment of people,” said Williams, who was in the Air Force.

“Based on that, I sure as heck have no more questions for you,” Lockett said.

Anderson and Williams were selected by senior city staff from a pool of 111 applicants. City Administrator Fred Russell said he’d likely recommend one of the men for the post and would like to have a director in place by year’s end.

Hiring a director is part of the department’s “extreme makeover” plan developed in part by Deputy Administrator Tameka Allen and consultant Malik Watkins, but more work lies ahead. Allen said Monday there were at least three management slots in the reconfigured department that need to be permanently filled.

Both Anderson and Williams are certified HR professionals, according to their resumes. Both requested a salary of $80,000, which is about $20,000 less than Powell was making.

RICHARD C. ANDERSON

EXPERIENCE: Human resrouces and administrative services director, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, Pensacola, Fla., July 2006-January 2012; human resources director, Tutogen Medical, Alachua, Fla., December 2006-March 2008

EDUCATION: Executive education, Ohio State University; master’s degree in human resources development, Western Michigan University; bachelor’s degree in social science and management, Eastern Michigan University, 1993

GEORGE A. WILLIAMS

EXPERIENCE: Human resources director, Tampa International Airport, July 2011-August 2012; human resources director, Hillsborough County, Fla., December 2003-July 2011; human resources director, Lee County, Fla., Jan. 2002-December 2003

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in counseling/sociology, East Texas State University, 1977

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Riverman1
70396
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Riverman1 11/29/12 - 05:52 am
2
1

Williams seems to have the

Williams seems to have the best track record.

leebraxjr
222
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leebraxjr 11/29/12 - 05:56 am
1
1

HR

I see both of these men seem highly quilified for this position. I hope they are both hired, the reason I say that is both men combined with their ideas and unselfiness as most soliders are they would make a positive change in Augusta.

soapy_725
43306
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soapy_725 11/29/12 - 09:00 am
1
0

LOL LOL LOL

Unpublished

Way to go with more Save the ARC campaigns. Another black politician will certainly increase the value of the ARC. The rains are coming. The sewers are already baking up. While most for profit businesses have outsourced the "sensitive issues" surrounding the testing and hiring of employees, ARC refuses to "move forward". Moving Forward is just a catchy phrase with no meaning in ARC. "Coming together" is another ARC favorite. "What is good for the CBD is good for all"

HR is just added bureaucracy. More second lieutenants.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 11/29/12 - 09:38 am
1
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The scary part

"City Administrator Fred Russell said he’d likely recommend one of the men"

Let the new Commissioner body vote on whether Mr. Fred will be around next year, before deciding on any of his last minute appointees.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/29/12 - 10:14 am
1
0

ON PAPER

Neither seem to have any CITY Government HR experience.
Neither are heavy weights and in fact both are babes in the woods with the political mess they are walking into.

Richard Anderson, SPHR
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rcamediation
seems only some what better qualified.

Vs.

George A. Williams
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/george-a-williams-sphr/26/b79/43a
who is leaving a job after only 14 months making $140k to accept less $$$ in a smaller venue???

Note: There seems to be some question if George is still HR Director or Director of Employee Training at Tampa International Airport.

Little Lamb
40104
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Little Lamb 11/29/12 - 02:39 pm
2
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Pay Structure

From the story:

Richard Anderson spoke frankly about Augusta government – “Your pay structure is antiquated,” he said.

Oh, boy. If they hire this guy they'll expect him to re-vamp the pay structure. Then he'll submit it to the commission for ratification. After the commission gets through monkeying with it, we taxpayers will be paying double in salaries compared to what we're paying now.

Little Lamb
40104
Points
Little Lamb 11/29/12 - 05:32 pm
1
0

Nepotism

From the story:

“If you’re in HR, you don’t have anybody in the company that’s a relative,” Richard Anderson said he once told an employee.

That's the reason they had to bring in an outsider instead of promoting from within. All current employee candidates are related to each other.

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