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AUGUSTA — The city of Augusta has hired its first female city manager.

City councilors unanimously confirmed the appointment of Susan Robertson as city manager Thursday, authorizing a two-year contract at a salary of $145,000 a year.

Susan Robertson Contributed photo

She replaces William Bridgeo, who retired after 23 years as Augusta’s manager.

Councilors said the city was lucky to have Robertson, who filled in as interim manager, already on the staff and they were pleased she agreed to take the job after initially saying she was not interested.

“We went out into the marketplace, we received a number of applications and resumes and such,” said Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Judkins. “We actually did some interviews. And the result of that whole process was nothing more than just validating what we already knew. That we had the best candidate sitting right here on the bench. And it only took the city of Augusta 267 years to have a woman to fill this position.”

Fort Western was built 267 years ago, in 1754, in what would later become the city of Augusta.

Robinson, 62, said she didn’t apply for the job because she had plans to possibly retire in a few years and thought the city wanted someone more long-term. But she agreed to take the job, for the next two years at least, after city leaders approached her with an offer and assured her they didn’t need a long-term commitment.

Mayor David Rollins said they approached Robertson to try to convince her to take the job after the city’s recruitment efforts drew only 15 applicants for the job. After interviewing three finalists, Rollins said, it was clear there was no candidate among them likely to be the unanimous choice of city councilors.

Robertson not only got a unanimous vote from councilors, she was also widely praised and drew thanks from them for agreeing to take the job.

“As we all know it’s a very tight labor market for a lot of positions and extremely tight for city manager positions,” said At-Large Councilor Marci Alexander. “And I’ve got to say we lucked out, because we had the best pick already here. It was evident, in the time she spent with us, how quickly she’s come up to speed. She’s the best pick, she’s well qualified. She happens to be the first woman to fill the position, but irregardless, she’s still our No. 1 pick.”

Rollins said he thought the process the council followed, including adapting to the lack of many applicants for the job by approaching Robertson and convincing her to take the job, was this council’s finest moment.

“Part of the problem was Susan Robertson didn’t know if it was the right thing for her to do right now,” Rollins said. “I think some of her concern was she felt she might not be around for 20 years, like Bill (Bridgeo). But I don’t think our requirement was such. So we’re glad it all came to terms.”

Robertson was hired in 2019 as human resources director and assistant city manager. She was chosen as the city’s acting manager when Bridgeo retired.

Robertson, smiling broadly after she took her oath Thursday, thanked councilors for their support and confidence in her.

“I will do the best job I possibly can,” she said. “I look forward to working with the mayor and council and our great city staff, in terms of continuing to keep Augusta moving forward.”

Before coming to Augusta, Robertson was the city administrator in Sun Valley, Idaho, for 6 1/2 years, and the village manager in Fox Point, Wisconsin, for 17 1/2 years. She also served as assistant city manager in Laramie, Wyoming, and Canandaigua, New York, where she worked with Bridgeo.

Robertson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She lives in Augusta, which is required in the city charter for the city manager.


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(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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