Originally created 09/27/00

Augustan readies to resign post



The city of Greenville, S.C., has signed on the dotted line, and Augusta City Administrator Randy Oliver has his pen in hand.

Contract documents from the South Carolina city are in the process of being sent to Augusta's chief manager, and he has said that once he receives those papers he plans to turn in his resignation.

The contract states that Mr. Oliver's start date in Greenville is Nov. 6, and officials there say they are eagerly awaiting his arrival.

"We're very excited and looking forward to Randy coming here," Greenville Mayor Knox White said.

"There's a lot of economic development activity he has to lead," Mr. White said. "We liked his open, participatory leadership style, especially with the public. We expect a lot of participation by residents. That's very important to us."

Mr. Oliver will be paid $135,000 a year in Greenville plus $6,000 for a car allowance, a total figure that is about $30,000 more than he makes in Augusta.

Greenville has a population of 60,000 and is located in the middle of Greenville County, which has a population of 345,000.

Mr. Oliver was scheduled to meet with a subcommittee of Augusta commissioners Tuesday morning to discuss his contract, but the meeting was called off in light of his contract with Greenville.

"It was pointless to talk about issues that, quite frankly, were a moot point," Mayor Bob Young said.

The subcommittee was prepared to offer Mr. Oliver $20,000 more a year, plus an additional assistant for his office and a severance package that protected him for one year if commissioners terminated his contract.

Finance Committee Chairman Steve Shepard said there also were discussions about improving his working conditions, including issues of "support and authority."

But commissioners emerged Monday from a closed meeting about Mr. Oliver's contract negotiations without having voted.

"I was hoping we would come out of that meeting with something for Randy, but we didn't," Commissioner Andy Cheek said. "It amazes me that we are so reactive instead of pro-active."

Reach Heidi Coryell at (706) 823-3215.