Patrick Bryant was named Tuesday as the sole finalist for the role of City Manager of Avondale Estates. Most recently, Mr. Bryant held the position of City Manager of Talladega, Alabama where he was responsible for the daily city operations including managing an operating budget of $25 million and 200 employees.
The City of Avondale Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners (BOMC) noted that Mr. Bryant is a highly qualified professional and puts forth a ‘get-it-done’ attitude with a passion for delivering exceptional customer service. Additionally, Mr. Bryant also has a real commitment to enhancing the experience of living in smaller communities. The BOMC has emphasized its confidence in Mr. Bryant’s selection as the sole finalist for the Avondale Estates City Manager position which included a thorough background review by The Mercer Group firm.
“I realize the importance of a community’s existing identity,” he said in a statement to the BOMC. “I believe it imperative to harness that identity and build community support for any venture that will impact the community’s quality of life. This path is the one I took in Talladega, as the community embarked on an award-winning re-branding and communication campaign designed to rebuild and diversify the City’s economy toward a more sustainable future.”
Prior to his service in Talladega, Mr. Bryant served in Santa Clarita, California for seven years as an Administrative Analyst for the City Manager’s Office and Transit Services Department. He began his career in local government with an internship in Mountain Brook, Alabama, a community near Birmingham similar in size to Avondale Estates. A native of Birmingham, he received a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications/political science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Mr. Bryant was chosen as the finalist after an extensive selection process which included opportunities for the public to provide input through an informal public hearing and through the City’s website. The BOMC received assistance with the selection process from the Mercer Group, a national executive recruitment firm specializing in local government consulting. As a result of targeted recruitment efforts by the Mercer Group, 49 applications were received from which the BOMC ultimately interviewed five candidates who best met the established job qualifications. All interviewees were highly qualified government professionals with a variety of high-level local government experiences.
In his most recent position, Mr. Bryant was terminated without cause in June and has been in-transition seeking another local government position since that time. Termination without cause stresses that a city manager works at the pleasure of the elected body and he/she can be terminated without any stated or proven reason. Typically, termination without cause is due to change in political leadership and/or controversial personnel decisions made by the city manager. The BOMC has stated it understands this is one of the perils of holding the position of city manager in municipal government and still holds confidence in Mr. Bryant’s selection as a finalist and his ability to perform his future city manager duties successfully.
In accordance with the Georgia Open Records/Open Meetings Act, the BOMC expects to officially appoint Mr. Bryant at a special called meeting no sooner than August 14. Currently, the BOMC is finalizing a proposed employment agreement with him that will be approved at the time of his appointment. Mr. Bryant is expected to begin his duties as City Manager in mid-September.