ACC Manager Blaine Williams announces resignation

ACC Manager Blaine Williams announced this week that he will be resigning as the chief executive officer of the ACC government, effective July 12.

ACC Manager Blaine Williams
ACC Manager Blaine Williams

“After eight years of dedicated service as the ACCGov Manager, I have made the heartfelt decision to resign from my position,” Williams announced on Wednesday. “My decision to resign is driven by a sincere desire to explore new opportunities for personal and professional growth and to be with my family.”

However, some ACC Commissioners implied that personal growth might not be the only reason Williams is stepping down.

“We’re unfortunate to live in interesting times in which agents of chaos and conspiracy theorists fall in line behind criminal fabulists and take aim at our institutions,” Commissioner Melissa Link said to Williams. “Unfortunately, those agents have gotten a hold of forces within this community, even within this government, and I’m sorry to see that you’ve become the target of that.”

“I regret greatly what has led to this resignation,” Commissioner Carol Myers said without explanation.

These commissioners praised Williams’ honesty, integrity and leadership while Commissioners Ovita Thornton and Dexter Fisher, who made the motion to accept Williams’ resignation, said nothing.

Williams touted his accomplishments as manager, a position in which he has served since 2016. These include Athens receiving a AAA bond rating, the highest level of confidence bonds can receive from financial markets, and an Insurance Services Office (ISO) fire rating score of Class 1 in 2019, which less than 1% of US towns have achieved.

Williams oversaw the launching of the ACC Sustainability Office, Geospatial Information Office, and Inclusion Office, he managed to purchase the rock quarry to provide future water independence and he helped the local government weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Kelly Girtz
Mayor Kelly Girtz

“In my 25 years working in the public sector, no colleague has ever strived for more than Blaine Williams,” said Mayor Kelly Girtz. “He is dedicated, creative and Athens has much to show for his good work. He has helped lead us through unprecedented challenges, an era of enormous growth and helped spur a community with gains in both the economic and social wellbeing of our residents.”

As Williams was saying his goodbyes to the commission, Thornton got up and walked out.

Williams will receive a $110,600 severance package. Assistant Manager Niki Jones will probably be announced as the interim manager when Williams steps down next month, although that has not yet been decided. As reported by the Flagpole, Girtz has said that he will conduct a nationwide search for a new manager. He expects to make the hire before the end of the year.

UPDATE (6/10/24): Williams spoke on WUGA about the reasons for his resignation. During the interview, he acknowledged “spurious comments” and “noise in the community” targeting him. He also acknowledged various disagreements on the commission that may have been difficult for him to navigate over the years. Yet, he insisted that these were not the reasons for his resignation, saying that “the truth is, it’s a lot more complex than that.”

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