Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith announces retirement

STAFF REPORT :::

Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith has announced he will retire effective March 31.

A letter announcing his pending retirement was presented to the Griffin Board of Commissioners during its Jan. 12 meeting.

“March 15 will conclude seventeen years as your City Manager and more than 38 years of local government service,” Smith’s retirement letter stated. “Through my passion of service in different capacities and in different jurisdictions the past 38 years, my love for this community, this staff and this work family has certainly been the highlight of my career. Outside of my biological family, my Griffin family has and will continue to be my pride and joy. However, 38 years of public service has taken a toll on my first family. With the hope of a little more time and good health, I would like to make up some of that lost time.”
A press release issued Wednesday by Griffin Citizen Engagement Specialist Brian Miller quoted Martin Luther King Jr. – The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of combat and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy – and said Smith has “shown his passion for public service, his love for this community, and his dedication to making a difference in Griffin and for Griffin.”

In the letter announcing his retirement, Smith spoke of the future and his efforts to prepare for the day he will no longer head the city’s governance.

“I feel very confident in our future and have prepared diligently for succession, transition and continuity. During the next 78 days I would like to continue to work attentively with you and staff to ‘pass the torch’ to a new generation (JFK 1/20/61); a generation of staff, advisors and citizens who are disciplined, proud, and who are unwilling to slow the progress that we see emerging before us,” Smith said.

He then requested that commissioners renew a resolution in accordance with the city of Griffin Charter to approve the designation of Deputy City Manager Jessica Whatley-O’Connor “to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the manager” during this transition period.

Smith said he intends to remain involved and to serve the community.

“I do plan to work persistently and responsively during this transition and assure you my attention to detail as we prepare for the future and better days ahead,” he said.

Whatley-O’Connor responded to the announcement of Smith’s retirement by stating, “This is a bittersweet day for all of us at the City of Griffin.  The employees at the City have had the ability to witness and learn from a great example of what public service and a love for this community looks like in Mr. Smith.  I will forever be indebted to him and the role he has played in my life over the last few years.  I know that our future is bright, as we have a generation of staff, advisors, and citizens that are dedicated to making sure the City of Griffin continues to grow together.”

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