City Administrator Randy Oliver has accepted a position as the city manager of Greenville, S.C., and will leave Augusta early in November.
On Monday afternoon, while the Augusta Commission debated possible contract negotiations to keep Mr. Oliver here, the Greenville City Council unanimously approved a contract for his employment.
"I have not formally signed the contract yet, but I will," Mr. Oliver said Monday evening when contacted at his home. "I should get the contract tomorrow or the next day, and as soon as I get that I will put in my formal notice."
His first day of employment in Greenville will be Nov. 6. He will be paid an annual salary of $135,000, which is $10,000 more than the advertised salary. He also will receive a $6,000 a year car allowance plus medical, dental and life insurance, and a pension contribution of 7 percent of his salary.
Augusta Commissioners spent more than an hour in legal session Monday discussing Mr. Oliver's contract but emerged without taking a formal vote.
Finance Committee Chairman Steve Shepard said a subcommittee appointed to negotiate with Mr. Oliver was prepared to sit down with him today and offer him nearly $20,000 more a year. He currently earns about $99,000 annually plus benefits.
"We knew Greenville would act, but we didn't know he would accept," Mr. Shepard said after learning about the contract.
In addition to issues of compensation, the subcommittee was prepared to discuss Mr. Oliver's working conditions, he said.
"We wanted to talk to him on issues of his authority and support," Mr. Shepard said.
When asked to elaborate, Mr. Shepard said, "I get the impression he didn't feel the support from all the commissioners that he felt from me in particular."
Mr. Oliver said he delayed his start date in Greenville so he could wrap up budget discussions in Augusta, but that he would definitely be leaving the Garden City.
The city of Greenville has a population of 60,000 and is located in the middle of Greenville County, which has a population of 345,000.
"I've made a commitment, and we negotiated a contract with city of Greenville. It's something we (Mr. Oliver and his wife) are both comfortable with," he said. "While we'll miss the citizens in the fine city of Augusta, we're looking forward to challenges in the city of Greenville."
Reach Heidi Coryell at (706) 823-3215.