Augusta traffic chief named interim deputy administrator

The head of Augusta traffic engineering and a key player in the ongoing cleanup effort from last month’s ice storm was named the city’s interim deputy administrator Monday.

Reporting to interim City Admin­is­trator Tameka Allen, Steve Cassell will temporarily assume most of the duties handled by former deputy administrator Bill Shanahan, who was over operations functions including emergency management, fire, environmental services, recreation and utilities, officials said.

Cassell, a city employee for eight years with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, said he was happy to take on the responsibilities in addition to his traffic engineering duties, which grew to include a massive debris removal effort after the storm.

Cassell helped secure the two contractors, AshBritt Environ­mental and Leidos, which he said Monday had completed about 70 percent of a “first pass” of all Au­gusta-Richmond County households to haul away piles of storm debris.

The Augusta Commission voted 8-0 to name Cassell to the new role after a closed-door session Monday.

Allen, the city’s information technology director and a deputy administrator, has been the only administrator in the office since Decem­ber, when the commission voted to fire Fred Russell. Shanahan left last fall for another job.

Commissioner Donnie Smith said Allen needed help and that Cassell had the right skill set.

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IN OTHER ACTION

In other business Monday, four-person Augusta Commission committees:

  • Approved amendments to the city’s mothballed property ordinance with stricter requirements for owners of unoccupied properties
  • Learned from city transit liaison Sharon Dottery that finding a suitable area for city buses to stop was prolonging planning for a new bus route
  • Agreed by 4-0 vote to exempt Sheriff Richard Roundtree from mandatory 2.4 percent budget cuts expected of all city departments. Roundtree said the cuts would “put the city in jeopardy” by causing staffing reductions
  • Approved agreements with live-in caretakers who maintain four city parks
TOPIC PAGE: Augusta-Richmond County Commission

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