Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor has chosen to turn down an offer to be the city of Camilla’s next city manager.
Taylor said in a prepared statement released Wednesday afternoon that he appreciated Camilla’s offer but wants to continue assisting with Bryan County’s growth.
“Bryan County is my home and has been for several years,” the statement said. “My family is here, and my children attend local public schools. This is my community and I take great pride in the work I have done and will continue to do in Bryan County.”
Camilla, the county seat in Mitchell County, has about 5,500 residents and a general fund budget of $10.3 million.
According to the Albany Herald, the Camilla City Council voted 5-0 at a called meeting Monday morning to offer Taylor the job. Camilla’s current city manager is slated to retire Jan. 26 and the city wanted Taylor to start there Jan. 23.
The Herald also reported that Taylor wrote in his cover letter when applying for the job that: “This opening is what I would consider to be a great opportunity for my family and myself. My past experience as a city manager of a smaller community has exposed me to the critical operational details of local government and has allowed me to directly experience a more detailed vantage point of service delivery.”
Bryan County Commissioners Chairman Carter Infinger said he was pleased with Taylor’s decision.
“Ben is excellent at what he does and has a history of heavily contributing to the successful growth and development of the communities he has led, including ours,” Infinger said in a statement. “In this line of work, it’s not unusual to be approached for advancement opportunities. It’s common for a growing county’s leaders and employees to be recruited by other communities who are looking to experience that same kind of success.”
Taylor said he takes pride in the work he has done for Bryan County.
“Our residents’ quality of life is a top priority to me, and with all the growth and development plans we have in the works, I’m looking forward to continuing this momentum and seeing positive results.”
Taylor was city manager in Ashburn, northeast of Camilla, from 2004 to 2014. Taylor was hired by Bryan County in August of 2014 at a yearly salary of $95,000. Commissioners voted in October 2016 to give him a 21 percent raise, a bump of $20,000 annually.
Camilla made national headlines last week when its newly elected mayor, Rufus Davis, announced he would boycott city council meetings. Davis, an African-American, said the city operations are discriminatory. The Albany Herald reported that Davis did not participate in the search process for a new city manager and was not present for the city council’s vote Monday offering the job to Taylor.
Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia Southern University.